“I feel female agents are better and they are more hardworking than males. Female sales agents are quick, cooperative faithful and hardworking.”
- Distributor, Uganda
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.
Working in partnership with STC and market research firm TNS, the Foundation has undertaken an in-depth study on the role of women in the mobile phone industry, highlighting the social and economic advantages of including more women entrepreneurs into the mobile value chain. The study drew participation from mobile network operators, distributors, vendors and other industry stakeholders across 11 markets including Bahrain, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Qatar, South Africa, Tanzania, the Philippines and Uganda.
The study outlines recommendations for the mobile industry, NGOs and governments to address the challenge of integrating more women into the mobile value chain. Noting that statistics in this domain are hard to come by, the report urges mobile network operators and distributors to build a business case by collecting data on the performance of their retail agents from a gender perspective. Governments and NGOs are encouraged to work together to create targeted initiatives to drive female participation in the mobile value chain.
The Saudi Telecommunication Group provides integrated mobile, fixed and broadband communications services to over 142 million subscribers in 10 markets including Saudi Arabia. Headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, STC is the largest telecommunications company by market capitalisation, total revenue and number of employees in the Arab State region.
TNS RMS is a leading research organisation in Africa, with 20% market share and employees with hands-on experience in Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and South Africa. TNS RMS is part of TNS Global, the world’s largest Custom Market Research specialists.