Sir Fazle Abed -top 70 alumni networks & 5 scots curious about hi-trust hi-tech
Rural gets On-grid (mobile, solar power) BRAC helps celebrate extremely useful innovations
Joi ITo at MIT media lab says - what's exciting now is moores law doesnt just apply to doubling of chip power every year but can apply to dobling of vital goals designed round mobile apps
below we'll look at some of the sectors where brac is mobilising change- and welcomes youth with winning idea
notes from The Economist 17 Jan 2013:
In Bangladesh bKash has garnered a following of 2.2m users. It has more than 30,000 retail agents, almost one in every two villages, allowing most rural Bangladeshis to use digital cash (see picture). In India BEAM has signed up 14m customers and does 1m transactions every month.
In both cases the success is in large part the result of what Anand Shrivastav, BEAM’s founder and chief executive, calls “the agnostic option”: bKash and BEAM offer mobile wallets that work on any wireless network.
Another reason for the growing adoption of mobile money, at least in the case of bKash, is the fact that it is not a single firm, but has a broad network of partners. It is linked to BRAC, a big Bangladeshi NGO, which in turn works with a vast network of mostly mom-and-pop grocery shops, which serve as retail agents for bKash. “They are like an ATM, but a more reliable one in a country where electricity can drop in and out,” says Kamal Quadir, chief executive of bKash.
In Bangladesh, approximately half of the adult population is unbanked. In less than four years, a mobile banking industry has emerged to meet these individuals’ needs, and has already reached over 25 million users bKash, the leading mobile money provider, conducts an average of 2 million transactions per day, and a total of nearly $1 billion US.... BRAC sees a tremendous opportunity to use mobile money to innovate, better serve clients and become more efficient. With the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, BRAC’s social innovation lab established the BRAC Innovation Fund for Mobile Money. In the context of Bangladesh, the rapid adoption of mobile money creates exciting opportunities for new approaches in poverty reduction. As an organisation, BRAC hopes to improve operational efficiency, decrease costs, and make services more accessible to clients. Through a portfolio of diverse pilots, BRAC is experimenting with mobile money. The project began in September 2013 and will continue unil August 2016. Through this initiative, BRAC hopes to accomplish the following objectives:
Last year, we asked people to share ideas about mobile money, and we received 100 ideas, resulting in in 7 exciting projects . This year, we are asking for your ideas again—briefly share your idea of how mobile money can be used to deliver better, more efficient services to BRAC clients in Bangladesh. A few moments of your time can potentially make a big impact!
The social innovation lab is here to help you. We have conducted extensive research on mobile money adoption within Bangladesh and around the world. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.