February 8, 2011
A year ago I was involved in setting up an exciting new relationship for Vodafone, when we donated money to the Web Foundation and joined the founders circle.
One of the projects that resulted from this new relationship is the Mobile Entrepreneurs in Africa.
In June I had the great pleasure of visiting Accra in Ghana to help set up the project and create the link to Vodafone Ghana. We had a hectic schedule of meetings with poeple from many organisations and after 4 days came to the conclusion that we really needed to bring together the mobile community in Accra and then we would be able to promote the training course for mobile web entrepreneurs.
The community is called Mobile Web Ghana and is being run by Florence Toffa.
The project has now moved on and we are about to start the first training course on 24th February 2011.
I am hoping to attend the last part of the course and meet the candidates and discuss their ideas for new businesses based around the mobile web. We are planning to follow their journey and report on how they get on.
January 11, 2010
My first blog of 2010 has been inspired by the announcement of the Nokia $1,000,000 Growth Economy Venture Challenge. Details of the challenge can be found here: calling all innovators. Nokia CEO, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, made the announcement at CES 2010 in Las Vagas, and said that it was possible to do good business and do good at the same time. That does sound like social entreprenuership to me!
The Betavine Social Exchange was set up for that very same purpose, bringing together community groups with needs and those that understand mobile technology that can help solve the need in a sustainable way i.e. building a local business. Our somewhat more modest Chembe Challenge, launched just before Christmas, focusses on a specific issue, personal security in poor urban areas, and is offering funding for local entrepreneurs to build a sustainable business whilst offering a valuable service.
We hope to be launching new challenges in the near future that address different areas of need but all will seek to support local enterpreneurs to develop and deploy sustainable solutions for local markets.
There seems to be a lot of work going on in the area of “Mobile Technology & Social Entrepreneurs”, see crowdtalk on delicious – just started but building more links every day. I spoke with Vincent d’Allant from the Skoll Foundation recently about Social Edge, and he was keen to find more examples of where mobile technology had been used by social entrepreneurs. I am sure there are lots of examples and with Nokia giving away a million dollars I am sure we will see more examples in the near future.
The key thing for the Betavine Social Exchange is that the solutions are sustainable, after the intial injection of prize money.
Image by DavidDennisPhotos.com
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