Business Women Mobile Service in Nigeria
Our Business Women mobile service was available in Nigeria from 2012-2013.
As is the case in many economies around the world, women entrepreneurs in Nigeria are faced with significant barriers to scaling up their businesses. Access to affordable resources can be difficult, marketing channels may not be apparent and training opportunities can be limited. Our research, Mobile Value Added Services: A Business Growth Opportunity for Women Entrepreneurs, shows that 93% of women entrepreneurs surveyed in Nigeria were willing to use a valued added mobile service to address the core challenges they face in their business and 75% felt that addressing these challenges would lead to a significant increase in the value of their business.
In August 2012, we launched an award-winning mobile service in Nigeria with the ExxonMobil Foundation, Nokia and MTN Nigeria. The service, called Business Women, consisted of a series of messages containing tips and training on business skills, delivered via SMS to mobile phones. The messages were specifically tailored for women entrepreneurs in Nigeria and reached over 70,000 women. The service was also rolled out in Indonesia and Tanzania. In total, our Business Women learning tool reached over 100,000 women.
In 2014, an independent evaluation of the Business Women service (below), conducted by Michigan State University, found that 90% of subscribers felt the service gave them “practical guidance” on making their businesses grow and offered an “inexpensive way to become better-informed businesswomen”.
In addition to the Business Women learning tool, the Foundation also worked in partnership with Nigeria’s Youth for Technology Foundation (YTF) to provide training and coaching throughout five states of the Niger Delta to further develop the capacity of 2,000 women entrepreneurs. YTF delivered hands-on classroom and online training sessions that focused on building crucial business skills including financial literacy, marketing and supply chain management.
Mobile phones serve as one of the most exciting examples we have of the transformational benefits of technology today.