Mobile money improves business outcomes in Guyana

Following an evaluation of our work in Guyana, we're pleased to share the fantastic impacts of our HerVenture app's track on mobile money.

In 2022 we collaborated with GTT, Guyana’s largest telecom company, and ActionINVEST Caribbean Inc. to bring a new learning track on mobile money to our award-winning HerVenture app in Guyana. The track supports women entrepreneurs to learn about the emerging digital payment method and how they can use it to boost their business. Here, we’re sharing key outcomes and learnings from the track’s first year as well as reflections from women who’ve used it.

In Guyana, cash transactions limit business growth. Guyana is largely a cash-based economy, where in-person transactions are commonplace. However, customers in remote regions must travel long distances to make payments for goods and services, which can be expensive and inconvenient. This is also a challenge for businesses as it limits the number of customers they can reach and requires entrepreneurs to spend time traveling to and from suppliers to make cash payments.

I was losing customers in the remote regions because they had no way of paying me for my services. In some places there is no bank and the post office is not reachable. I used to have to tell those customers that I couldn’t offer them my services.

Ivonne Ocrospoma, Manging Director, L&L Translation Services, and HerVenture user

A woman entrepreneur, Ivonne Ocrospoma, sits in a wooden chair in front of a window. She is wearing a black and white dress with plant patterns on it. She is holding out a phone with the HerVenture app on the screen and she is smiling.
Ivonne Ocrospoma, Manging Director, L&L Translation Services, and HerVenture user

HerVenture’s Mobile Money track 

Mobile money is an electronic wallet which allows users to store, send and receive money using just their mobile phone. This eliminates the need for in person transactions, allowing women entrepreneurs to reach more customers, accept deposits for up-front costs, and pay suppliers with ease. This has fantastic impacts on business outcomes and saves valuable time, which is crucial for women entrepreneurs with care and domestic responsibilities. 

HerVenture has a strong presence in Guyana’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, with 1 in 25 Guyanese women using the app. Working together to create a new learning track about mobile money meant that GTT – Guyana’s main provider of the payment method – could reach more women entrepreneurs with its services, while the Foundation could utilise GTT’s expertise to help close the digital gender gap.  

Through the track’s bite-sized lessons, HerVenture teaches women entrepreneurs what mobile money is and how to use it in their businesses. The results have been incredible. 

Outcomes for users

91% improved their understanding of how to integrate mobile money into their business

89% learned how to create, implement and monitor a mobile money strategy

78% improved their business outcomes in one or more domain: revenue, profit margins, number of employees or business savings

Learnings and insights 

In October, we conducted two weeks of interviews with HerVenture users in Guyana to learn more about how they are integrating mobile money into their businesses. Their feedback sheds a new light on how digital payments can help women grow and improve their businesses. 

  • Improved business finances: New entrepreneurs consistently reported effective financial record-keeping as a significant challenge to growing their businesses. Integrating digital payments into their business significantly improved women’s ability to keep track of their business’ incoming and outgoing payments.  
  • Customer acquisition: Women revealed that cash payments limit their market to customers who are nearby or willing to travel. By accepting mobile money, women reported that they could grow their customer base, selling and shipping their products and services to customers across Guyana and even overseas. 
  • Reduced risk and improved cash flow: Many business owners reported that they had introduced deposits for their services to mitigate risk, from large catering orders requiring up-front food purchases, to beauty-service providers, who reserve a time slot on the assumption it will be used by a paying customer. However, cash deposits come with a significant cost to the business, requiring potential customers to travel twice for a single business transaction. Introducing digital payments allowed women entrepreneurs to protect their businesses, while offering a more seamless experience to potential customers.  
  • Efficiency: Digital payments do not only save time for clients, they save time for the business. Women ascribed numerous gains in efficiency to digital payments, from making payments to vendors and suppliers directly from their phones to greater ease in record-keeping, thanks to transaction histories automatically logged in their payment apps. For busy women entrepreneurs, many of whom reported juggling day jobs, running a business, and unpaid care work, increased time and energy could be reinvested back in their businesses.  

It makes sending and receiving money easier. You can now sit in your sitting hall or your dining room and use your digital wallet to either make payments to your suppliers or receive payments from your customers.

Stacy Reece, Owner, East Gate Produces & Café, and HerVenture user

Stacy Reece, Owner, East Gate Produces & Café
Stacy Reece, Owner, East Gate Produces & Café, and HerVenture user

Join us in reaching more women entrepreneurs 

The Foundation has always been a champion for using digital technology to support women to harness emerging business opportunities, and ultimately to progress women’s economic justice. Supporting women to use mobile money is just one of the many ways we do this. 

HerVenture has supported 100,000 women around the world. Our app is highly scalable and customisable, ready to offer users specific knowledge that meets their needs and suits their local context in collaboration with partners. Learn how your company can work with us to unlock even more women entrepreneurs’ potential and boost economies around the world.

What can HerVenture offer you?

Together, we can harness the power of tech to drive women's economic empowerment around the world.

Find out more
Lindiwe Masango, owner of the mineral water brand Lee Ice Cubes uses the HerVenture app

Made possible by...

Actioninvest Logo
mmg logo
ExxonMobil Foundation logo