Mobile Technology Programme

About Our Mobile Technology Programme

The Foundation’s Mobile Technology Programme leverages mobile technology to support women entrepreneurs in becoming successful business owners. The programme works with a wide range of partners in the mobile ecosystem to provide women entrepreneurs with access to training, technology, networks and capital. We combine research, projects and advocacy across three models:

  • Delivering customised mobile applications to address the unique challenges facing women entrepreneurs in low and middle income countries
  • Increasing the participation and capacity of women in mobile and banking agent networks
  • Ensuring financial inclusion by providing mobile financial services to women entrepreneurs

The programme was formed in response to our pioneering report, Women & Mobile: A Global Opportunity, published in 2010 with the GSMA Development Fund. The report revealed that 300 million women in low and middle income countries are missing out on the mobile technology revolution – and that closing this gender gap would bring significant social benefits to women and their families, as well as a $13 billion revenue opportunity to mobile operators.

We welcome interest from mobile operators and device manufacturers, platform providers and vendors, academics, consulting firms and non-profit organisations. Our previous and existing partners include the Vodafone Foundation in India, GSMA, ExxonMobil Foundation, Visa and USAID.


women in retail report

Mobile Retail Channels Study

Published: November 2011
The mobile industry is fast-paced and diverse, driven largely by innovation and the huge increases in consumer demand that have occurred in recent years. Women in particular stand to gain a great deal from selling mobile products and services, as setting up a mobile phone business presents fewer barriers than many other income-generating activities that exist in an emerging market. However, in order for women to flourish within the mobile industry, they must be supported by the companies and network operators that serve the markets in which these women live. The mobile sector has a significant opportunity to promote positive socio-economic change by fostering the capability and confidence of women entrepreneurs working in their retail chains and by recognizing and providing solutions to overcoming traditional barriers to finance that many women face.

women and mobile report

Women and Mobile: A Global Opportunity

Published: July 2012
The Cherie Blair Foundation and GSMA Development Fund published a ground-breaking report in February 2010, quantifying the gender gap in mobile technology across developing countries – Women & Mobile: A Global Opportunity. The report shows that, by extending the benefits of mobile phone ownership to more women, a host of social and economic goals can be advanced, but 300 million women are missing out on the mobile revolution. This translates to a $13bn revenue opportunity for mobile operators.


Mobile Services for Women Entrepreneurs

Published: April 2012
The exponentially increasing rate of mobile penetration in low and middle income countries offers many opportunities for women entrepreneurs to grow and expand their enterprises through the use of technology. However, women entrepreneurs also face specific challenges to business growth, such as limited access to adequate marketing channels and insufficient training opportunities. Historically, few mobile solutions have had the scale necessary to empower large numbers of women, and the majority of services for business use are generally not tailored to address the precise regional and local barriers that women face.


India Connectivity Report

Published: February 2012
Research indicates that there is a significant gender gap in access to mobile technology in South Asia, where a man is 37% more likely to have access to a mobile phone than a woman. Closing this gender gap could be nothing short of life-changing, enabling women to access vital business and financing opportunities that can, in turn, enhance their incomes and livelihoods.

  • 116,000

    women reached through our mobile technology programme

  • 2,500

    women trained as mobile money agents in Nigeria

  • 145%

    increase in value of transactions processed by women mobile agents in Nigeria

  • 1,800

    women supported to manage an agricultural supply chain in India via a mobile app

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