Monday, September 14, 2009

Grameen Phone-Turning Local Women into Telecom Entrepreneurs

Grameenphone has shown how new markets can be opened in developing countries with the combined efforts of big business and social enterprises. It was started in Bangladesh in 1997 and since then it has been replicating the Grameen Bank co-operative model. By training operators, handling service related issues and supplying handsets, Grameenphone has tuned thousands of poor Bangladeshi women into successful telecom entrepreneurs.

As a part of the village phone program, women are granted a loan from the Grameen Bank to buy the cellular phone to operate it as a business and sell the use of it on the basis of per call. The program is spreading into more than 35,000 villages and over 150,000 village phones have been distributed in 61 out of 64 districts of Bangladesh.

It is remarkable how villages are benefitting from this business venture. Technology is not readily accessible in the rural areas of Bangladesh and more than 60% of the population in these areas is poor. But the access of phones through the Grameen Phone program has not only helped farmers keep up with market prices for their products but local women have also managed to gain self respect and financial independence.

The concept of using telecommunication to fight poverty has been widely successful and now this largest cellular company in South East Asia is also serving communities in Rwanda and Uganda.

Share and Enjoy:
Digg Technorati Stumbleupon Blinklist Reddit Furl Yahoo Spurl Simpy

No comments:

Post a Comment