Grameen Foundation receives fund from eBay and Qualcomm for mobile microfranchise program in Indonesia

Grameen Foundation announced Qualcomm, through its
Wireless Reach initiative, will match the funding it received in the Powering
Economic Opportunity: Create a World that Works contest, co-hosted by the eBay
Foundation and Ashoka Changemakers.

The foundation received a grant from eBay to help expand
its initiative to create mobile phone microfranchise businesses for the poor in
Indonesia. Grameen Foundation
was among five organizations selected from 900 entries from 83 countries.
 The winners represent some of the world’s most innovative market-based
solutions that are creating economic opportunity and generating employment for
disadvantaged populations.

In Indonesia, where more than 180 million live on less
than $2.50/day, this microfranchise initiative is providing a predictable and
reliable stream of income for poor families. The new funding will help expand
the current network of more than 8,500 entrepreneurs to 60,000 over the next
three years.

The microfranchisees the majority of whom are women sell
airtime minutes in their communities and, through this expanded network, will
soon be able to provide an estimated 4.5 million customers with access to job
listings, a mobile marketplace, vital information on health and agriculture,
mobile banking services and mentoring for small business owners.

“We believe poor people can improve their own lives
if they are given the appropriate tools and opportunities,” said Alex
Counts, president and CEO of Grameen Foundation.

“We are extremely pleased to have been selected from
such a wide pool of global entrants and want thank our supporters for voting.
Qualcomm has been a great ally in our work and we appreciate its steadfast
support for our efforts to bring new opportunities to Indonesia’s poor,”
Counts added.

“The long standing collaboration between Qualcomm’s
Wireless Reach initiative and Grameen Foundation is a powerful and outstanding
example of how organizations can come together to create innovative and
sustainable solutions for people who are living at the base of the economic
pyramid,” said Shawn A. Covell, vice president of government affairs at

PT Ruma, an Indonesian social enterprise that was
incubated by Grameen Foundation and Wireless Reach two years ago to support the
network, will recruit and train the microfranchisees and manage the business
services they offer.

A study conducted by Grameen Foundation’s Bankers without
Borders volunteers found that 47 percent of the entrepreneurs who stayed in the
mobile microfranchise program for more than two months doubled their income by
their fourth month.

The winning solutions in the Powering Economic
Opportunity: Create a World that Works contest were selected through a
combination of public voting and expert evaluation. The ten finalists selected
through public voting were judged on their innovation, social impact, and
sustainability by an international panel of experts to determine the five

By Team

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