Mobile Phone Solutions for SMEs

Africa, the world’s fastest-growing mobile phone market

The challenge: customizing mobile phone services for SMEs

The recent development of mobile telecommunications in the developing world is impressive: in Africa alone mobile penetration doubled from 6.5 per 100 inhabitants in 2003 to 13.1 per 100 inhabitants in 2005, International Telecom Union (ITU).

Mobile phones have an especially dramatic impact in developing countries— substituting for scarce fixed connections, reducing transaction costs, increasing mobility, broadening trade networks, and facilitating searches for employment.

Our approach: Business Information Centres going mobile

UNIDO is utilising mobile telephony to take the services of the Business Information Centres out into the surrounding community, enabling:

  • Women entrepreneurs to build a business as ‘village phone operators’
  • Farmers to make good choices based on market conditions
  • Rural poor to receive banking services they otherwise couldn’t access
  • Stimulation of locally designed mobile based solutions