The Foundation’s Mobile Technology Programme was formed in response to our ground breaking report Women & Mobile: A Global Opportunity published in 2010 with the GSMA Development Fund. The report revealed that 300 million women in developing countries are missing out on the mobile technology revolution and subsequently a host of socio-economic benefits.

Combining research, projects and advocacy, the Mobile Technology Programme aims to create sustainable economic opportunities for women entrepreneurs through the use of mobile phones and services.

The programme works with a wide range of partners in the mobile ecosystem – including mobile operators, device manufacturers, platform providers and vendors, leading academic thinkers, consulting firms and non-profit organisations. Broadly, our work falls under two categories:

  • Mobile Financial Services: Projects that bring mobile financial services closer to women entrepreneurs, both as users and as providers of such services
  • Mobile Value Added Services: Projects that build customised mobile applications or adapt existing applications to address specific business challenges faced by women entrepreneurs

Our work brings the benefits of mobile technology to women entrepreneurs, which results in a positive impact on their families, communities and economies. Our ground-breaking report published with the GSMA Development Fund – Women and Mobile: A Global Opportunity – found a wide gender gap in mobile phone ownership, pegged at 300 million women in developing and emerging economies. Through this research, the Foundation has been instrumental in fostering a global discussion about mobiles for women’s social and economic development. As a result, a number of NGOs, governments and corporations have begun working together on initiatives for women empowerment through mobile technology.

We followed our first mobile technology study with further research demonstrating that including women in mobile retail chains is beneficial not just for the women but for mobile operators as well. These findings are currently being used as a basis for projects that support women in mobile retail channels. In addition to our research and advocacy work, we develop projects with partner organisations to provide tangible on-the-ground support to women entrepreneurs. For example, through our project in Kenya with CARE International, we are providing business training for 5,000 women entrepreneurs and connecting at least 15% to formal financial services using the mobile phone.

We are able to achieve as much as we do through the combined efforts of partners, volunteers and others. Read about the projects and research within the Mobile Technology Programme and help us support more passionate women to achieve their ambitions and make a difference in their community. Find out more about our partners and how you can get involved.