The Mobile Ecosystem in Emerging Markets

May 3, 2009

One of the drivers behind the Betavine Social Exchange is to encourage the mobile ecosystem in emerging markets – help local entrepreneurs to think about the mobile space and its opportunities.  This is a very challenging target and will need a number of key enablers in place i.e. understanding the utility of mobile, understanding the technical issues and knowledge of the business models available.

In creating the Betavine Social Exchange website we are currently thinking about 3 key groups of stakeholders or “audiences” – owners, contributors and activators.


This is the group that “own” the problem or challenge that could be addressed by a mobile solution.   The problem owners can come from many difference and diverse organisations e.g. NGOs, government departments, universities.  The problem owners are those organisations and individuals who understand the situations on the ground and are able to describe it clearly to others.

The engagement of the problem owners with the Betavine Social Exchange is key to its success.  The Betavine Social Exchange will seek to make it very easy to describe a problem in a way that is accessible to the problem owner but also helpful to the contributors and activators.


This group are the mobile developers or other mobile enthusiasts who have the knowledge or interest in “contributing” towards mobile solutions for the defined problems.   Contributions can be helpful pointers, software (open source code), time to lead a co-creation project online, user interface designs or business advice.

Contributions can come from anyone in the world … the global mobile development community or mobile enthusiasts.  The beneficiaries are the local entrepreneurs who are able to deploy a mobile solution that meets a pre-defined and real problem.


This group is made up of the local businesses or entrepreneurs in the emerging markets that are willing to step forward and “activate” a mobile solution in the local market.  One key advantage for the activators is that the customer, the problem owner, has already been indentified and a mobile solution is available to review.

Local activators can pre-register their interest and engage with the co-creation phase of the project.

Funding for local entrepreneurs can come from many different sources but one possibility is to use kiva.


I have been aware of kiva for a while but it was not until recently that I actually registered and lent some money to a fishmonger in Ghana.  The whole concept behind Kiva is awesome!  I love it.  The website is very simple to use and the process is clearly explained in every step.  I am not surprised that it has been such a great success.  It does the job it set out to do very well.

I am taking note of its success and hoping to learn a lot from it.  I am sure there should be a clear link from the Betavine Social Exchange to Kiva … not sure exactly how this will work but I am going to eplore the possibilities.


5 Responses to “The Mobile Ecosystem in Emerging Markets”

  1. […] suo post più recente sull’ecosistema del cellulare nei mercati emergenti, Wolak dice che uno degli impulsi dietro al Betavine Social Exchange è quello di aiutare gli […]

  2. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

  3. Raphaël Dard Says:

    Dear Stephen,
    The Betavine initiative sounds quite exciting and I’d like to give it a try. I do believe in the open source philosophy (now coined “crowdsourcing”) and its potential for development. We have a number of projects and related challenges that could be shared with the community and all could benefit from this sharing.
    There are a couple of internal challenges I have to go through to make this happen (mainly education). And I would like to request for your assistance on this. I can propose a wiki to build the argumentation.
    Looking forward to this collaborative innovation and co-creation work!

  4. […] his most recent post on the mobile ecosystem in emerging markets, Wolak says that one of the drivers behind the Betavine Social Exchange is to help local […]

  5. […] his most recent post on the mobile ecosystem in emerging markets, Wolak says that one of the drivers behind the Betavine Social Exchange is to help local […]

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