Training Women Entrepreneurs to Sell Mobile Banking in Africa

Millicom, a provider of low-cost mobile equipment in emerging markets, is working with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to support women entrepreneurs into Africa’s mobile financial services industry.

The public-private partnership will provide more than 4,000 women in Tanzania, Ghana and Rwanda with training over an 18-month period to set up as mobile money agents so they can earn a living and sell mobile banking services. The World Bank estimates that 2.5bn people – more than half the total global population of working-age adults – have no access to formalised financial services. In Sub-Saharan Africa, just 12 per cent of people use them.

It is also hoped that having more women agents will increase the number of women who benefit from mobile – the GSMA found in 2010 that there is a significant gender-gap in adoption rates in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“Women entrepreneurs stand to gain a great deal from selling mobile money products. With the right business training and working capital available, women entrepreneurs can benefit from being part of a mobile operators value chain. Setting up mobile sales provides additional household income and the opportunity for these women to be financially independent,” said Cherie Blair.