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  • 1. 3Women Entrepreneurs inMobile Retail Channels:Empowering Women, Driving Growth
  • 2. are very grateful to the following people andorganisations for generously contributing their timeand expertise to assist in the preparation of thisreport:Mobile Network Operators:Bharti Airtel TanzaniaCell C South AfricaMTN UgandaMTN NigeriaMTN Côte d’IvoireTigo GhanaUninor IndiaVodacom TanzaniaVodacom South AfricaVodafone IndiaIndividual Contributors:Andy Cipta Asmawaty, Solidaritas Perempuan,IndonesiaAnn Mei Chang, GoogleCeleste De La Mare-Johnson, Del Cell South AfricaDonald Moir, Cell C South AfricaDoni Prawata, Selkomindo IndonesiaDr. Tsung-Ping Chung, Department of SocialDevelopment, QatarEunice Mwesigwa, Women’s Net, South AfricaFarid Lekhal, Delta PartnersHillary Miller-Wise, TechnoserveJess Galano, COLDEX – Distributor Of SmartCommunications PhilippinesK. Ohemen-Agyei, Action Aid GhanaMadhu Singh Sirohi, Uninor IndiaMargaret Jiri, WDB Group, South AfricaMaria Rosario R. Lopez, Jaime V Ongpin Foundation,PhilippinesMaria Thomas, former CEO of ETSYMarion, Pavitra, Shelly and Susan, mobile salesagentsMarthe Muller, South African Women In DialogueMr Anirudhra, Commission for Gender Equality, SouthAfricaMr Niaz, Family Food Center (TelecommunicationDivision) – Recharge QatarNbyarusa Achilleh, Ministry of CommunityDevelopment, Gender and Children, TanzaniaNewton Davids, Brand Fusion Marketing Ltd,TanzaniaNita Cherniguin, Gabriela – Negros, PhilippinesNkonge Gladys, Cell King UgandaPawan Kumar, Uttarakhand Gramya Vikas Samiti,IndiaProfessor Mark Levy, University of MichiganRam Iyer, Vodafone IndiaRamona Liberoff, MovirtuRoy K. Alex, Ramkrishna Society, IndiaRuth G Campos, Negros Women for TomorrowFoundation Inc, PhilippinesSanjay Kumar, Self Employed Women’s Association,IndiaSen Henry, Pride Microfinance, UgandaStanley Okoh, Tigo GhanaSue Kennedy, Cell C South AfricaSusie Kelt, Vodafone QatarTricia Dizon, Smart Communications PhilippinesTrina DasGupta, GSMA mWomen ProgrammeVeena Manian, Hand in Hand, India…along with the women and men who participated inthe focus group discussions in each market and othercontributors who wish to remain anonymous.Acknowledgements:The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, STC and TNSwould like to thank the following supporting partners: Viva Bahrain AXIS Indonesia Smart Communications Vodafone Qatar Philippines United States Agency for GSMA mWomen International Development1 ProgrammeOrascom Telecom
  • 3. 1Table of ContentsForewords 2Abbreviations and Acronyms 4Country Coverage and Participating Mobile Operators 5Executive Summary 6Ten Insights: Women in the Mobile Value Chain 71. Introduction 82. Summary of the Research Methodology 93. Why Include Women in the MVC? 10 3.1 Driving business success 10 3.2 Creating a stronger brand 11 3.3 Access to new markets 114. The Experience of Women in the MVC 12 4.1 Getting started in the MVC 12 4.2 Mobile sales channels 12 4.3 Benefits for women in the MVC 12 4.4 Challenges for women in the MVC 13 4.5 Conclusions 135. Promoting the Inclusion of Women in the Mvc 14 5.1 Building a business case 14 5.2 Adopting a gender-sensitive and culturally embedded approach 14 5.3 Advancing start-up capital for mobile sales business 14 5.4 Providing ongoing incentives 14 5.5 Offering training and support 15 5.6 Recommendations for NGOs 15 5.7 Recommendations for governments 156. In-depth Market Analysis 16 6.1 India 16 6.2 The Philippines 19 6.3 Tanzania 20 6.4 Qatar 22 6.5 South Africa 237. General Market Overview 25 7.1 Indonesia 25 7.2 Bahrain 25 7.3 Ghana 25 7.4 Nigeria 26 7.5 Côte d’Ivoire 26 7.6 Uganda 268. Conclusions 28Appendix A: Index of Case Studies 29Appendix B: Index of Pen Portraits 29Research Summary and Geographical Coverage 30Selected Bibliography 31Endnotes 33
  • 4. 2The mobile technology revolution offers a wealth of social and economic opportunities, and I’m delightedthat my Foundation has partnered with STC and TNS on this report to explore how women entrepreneursin developing and emerging markets can benefit from the ever expanding mobile value chain.Women entrepreneurs stand to gain a great deal from selling mobile products. Setting up a mobile salesbusiness is relatively easy, it can provide additional income for the household and offer on-the-job learning.Since women tend to invest 90% of their income back into their families, it benefits their children too.In turn, there is a real business case for mobile operators to include women in mobile value chains. Womenentrepreneurs offer significant advantages such as enhanced branding and access to new markets. Myhope is that mobile operators will read this report with interest and do more to offer better opportunities towomen entrepreneurs, particularly higher up the mobile value chain.My Foundation’s vision is a world where women have equal opportunities and the capability, confidenceand capital necessary to establish and grow businesses, resulting in a brighter future for the womenthemselves and their communities. However, we cannot achieve this alone. This is why we work withpartners like STC and other mobile operators, ExxonMobil, the US Department of State, USAID, theGSMA mWomen Programme, Delta Partners and others. By working together across sectors to implementsolutions that benefit all, we are able to make real progress in women’s economic empowerment. We lookforward to working with the mobile industry to put this report’s recommendations into practice.Cherie BlairFounder, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women
  • 5. 3There is enormous global interest in the role that mobile telecommunication can play in development.Searching online for ‘Mobile for Development’ (or ‘M4D’), generates approximately 20 million results.Projects which are currently implemented in this area mainly focus on development of mobile-facilitatedservices for the poor. TNS is very pleased to have partnered with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Womenand a range of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in exploring an alternative way in which the mobile sectorcan enable women to gain socio-economic benefits. We have found that increasing the number of womenentrepreneurs in the mobile value chain (MVC) in a commercially sustainable manner is an effective way tohave a positive impact on the livelihoods and lives of women.As you will read in this report, being a vendor of mobile products and services is a relatively easy businessfor women to enter and it offers the kind of flexibility which is attractive to many women entrepreneurs.Moreover, the report also demonstrates that there are strong benefits for MNOs as well. We are pleasedto bring to their attention that working with women offers MNOs the opportunity to build their brands andincrease sales.Currently, only a limited number of targeted initiatives exist to promote the inclusion of women in the retailchannels of MNOs; this demonstrates that the clear benefits of such initiatives are not widely known. Byreviewing the experiences of the forward-thinking industry players who have such programmes in place, wehope to stimulate others to follow, and to provide a foundation for moving such schemes beyond the realmsof corporate social responsibility (CSR) and into the core of commercial strategy for MNOs.Eric SalamaCEO, TNS
  • 6. 4Abbreviations and AcronymsASP Ankuram Sangamam Poram – an Indian NGOBoP Bottom of the Pyramid – denotes economically deprived sectionsof society, often defined as those living on USD2.50 per day orless on averageCARD BDS The Center for Agriculture and Rural Development BusinessDevelopment ServicesCARD MRI The Center for Agriculture and Rural Development MutuallyReinforcing InstitutionsCSR Corporate Social ResponsibilityGDP Gross Domestic ProductGPRS General Packet Radio ServiceGSM ‘Global System for Mobile’ – specification for the globallydominant wireless infrastructureHDI Human development indexHiH Hand in HandICT Information and Communication TechnologyIFC International Finance CorporationIVR Interactive Voice Response – an automated telephone systemwhere responses are given verbally and the caller responds bypressing certain keys or using certain short words or phrasesMDG Millennium Development GoalsM4D Mobile for DevelopmentMNO Mobile Network OperatorM-Pesa Mobile Money service, which originated in KenyaMVC Mobile Value ChainMWEI M-PESA Women Empowerment InitiativeN Nigerian nairaNGO Non-Governmental OrganisationQtel Qatar TelecomRUMA Rekan Usaha Mikro Anda (Your Micro-Business Partner) –an Indonesian social business that promotes mobile phonebusiness microfranchises to poor entrepreneursSAWID South African Women in DialogueSEWA Self Employed Women’s AssociationSHG Self Help GroupSIDO Small Industries Development OrganisationSIM Subscriber Identification ModuleSMS Short Message ServiceSTC Saudi Telecom CompanyTESDA Technical Education and Skills Development AuthorityTZS Tanzanian shillingUNDP United Nations Development ProgrammeUSAID United States Agency for International DevelopmentUSD United States dollarVAS Value-added servicesVPO Village Phone OperatorWASI Women Association for Starting InvestmentWINC Women’s Incorporated – an initiative by SAWID
  • 7. 5Country Coverage and Participating Mobile OperatorsBahrainViva BahrainIvory CoastMTN Cote d’IvoireGhanaTigo GhanaNigeriaMTN NigeriaSouth AfricaVodacom SACell C South AfricaTanzaniaVodacom TZAirtel TanzaniaUgandaMTN UgandaIndonesiaAXIS IndonesiaPhilippinesSmartCommunicationsPhilippinesIndiaUninor IndiaVodafone IndiaQatarVodafone Qatar
  • 8. 6Executive SummaryIntroductionThe expansion of the mobile industry across developingand emerging markets enables a number of social andeconomic opportunities. In addition to the benefits thatmobile technology provides, mobile network operators(MNOs) themselves can offer many opportunitiesfor basic employment and entrepreneurial activity.Some women have been able to benefit from theseopportunities, while many others remain marginalised.In this report, we investigate the gender composition ofthe ‘mobile value chain’ (MVC) in 11 different marketsaround the world. We examine the current level ofwomen’s participation in the MVC and the benefitsof such participation both for MNOs and for womenentrepreneurs. In addition to undertaking an analysisof the MVC, we broadened our scope to encompassthe wider political, social and institutional conditions ineach market. We interviewed policy makers and spoketo other stakeholders who have an interest in women’seconomic empowerment in the markets concerned.The mobile value chain (MVC)When we use the term ‘value chain’, we are referringspecifically to the retail networks of MNOs, i.e. thechannels through which MNOs get their products intothe hands of end consumers. When we use the term‘products’, we are referring, in the main, to ‘airtime’. Inthe case of most of the markets included in this reportthe ‘pre-pay’ model dominates, which means thatconsumers do not have a contract with their mobileoperator(s), rather they buy regular airtime ‘top-ups’. Insome markets these top-ups are primarily administeredvia physical ‘scratch cards’, while in others electronictop-up systems prevail. In addition, MNOs are sellingbasic connections (SIMs) and in some cases offer moreadvanced mobile products such as ‘Mobile Money’which form an additional revenue stream and service.All these products offer opportunities for women’seconomic involvement in the retail networks of MNOs.We explore these opportunities in detail in this study. Wehave divided our findings and recommendations into threesections, the key points of which are summarised here.Why include women in the MVC?Including women in the MVC is not only beneficial forthe women themselves, it is also an excellent businessopportunity for the MNOs. Women offer significantbenefits to MNOs and distributors by:• driving increased sales through strong self-motivation and excellent customer service;• building a strong brand image and effectivelycommunicating product benefits; and• facilitating access to new markets or providingenhanced access to existing markets through strongsocial ties.The experience of women in the MVCAccording to most women we spoke to, selling basicmobile products (airtime, SIMs, etc.) is not a highlylucrative business and does not provide enough incomeon its own. Instead, a mobile business is usually usedeither to supplement another retail business or is asmall-scale enterprise intended to provide an additionalincome rather than a sole income. There are significantbenefits that women derive from participating in theMVC:• Selling mobile products is a flexible and easybusiness, making it an ideal entry point for womenentrepreneurs who are able to juggle household andcommunity responsibilities alongside selling mobileservices.• Joining the MVC can be an empowering experiencefor women, often increasing their confidence,capability and capital, as well as giving them improvedsocial status at the household and community level.• Selling mobile-related products is relatively steadyand can help support families that might otherwise besolely dependent on fluctuating seasonal incomes.Promoting the inclusion of women in the MVCThere are regional variations in women’s participationin the MVC. In India, Indonesia and the Middle Eastwe found that the majority of participants in the MVCwere male, while in Africa and the Philippines mostmobile vendors were women. However, nowhere did wediscover women taking on better-paid roles higher upthe value chain – as distributors or as owners of larger-scale retail outlets.Reasons for this can largely be attributed to a culturallydefined understanding of appropriate roles for women intheir respective societies. Other barriers include limitededucational opportunities for women and the lack ofproductive assets such as capital available to women.Accordingly, our recommendations vary by market andare summarised in the table below:India, the MiddleEast, IndonesiaAfrica and thePhilippinesSales agents Low femaleparticipation asfinal sales agentsHigh levelof femaleparticipation assmall-scale salesagentsRecommendations forMNOs and distributorsCreate targetedinitiatives todrive femaleparticipation inorder to deriveclear commercialbenefitsBenefits of femaleparticipation arerecognised butnot leveraged ina targeted way– help womenvendors scale upRecommendationsfor NGOs andgovernmentsConsider workingwith MNOs to helpkick-start womenentrepreneurs –generating incomeand improving selfrespect of yourbeneficiariesSupport small-scale femalevendors and helpthem grow theirbusinesses byproviding microloans and training
  • 9. 7Ten Insights: Women in the Mobile Value Chain1. Women have a track record of excelling in sales The majority of distributors told us that women are often more successful asretail agents due to their customer service skills.2. Minimal barriers to entry into the MVC On average an investment of USD402is required to become a sales agent.Due to relatively low upfront capital investment, women are more likely to getinvolved in selling mobile products than in other businesses.3. The majority of mobile sales agents in Africa are women Across the markets we studied in Africa, distributors estimate that more than50% of sales agents are women – but most are small-scale.4. Women provide a great route to market for MNOs In markets with a high degree of gender segregation, female sales agents canbe a good way to access untapped female markets. Women are great brandambassadors with strong social networks.5. Gender initiatives go beyond corporate social responsibility (CSR) Most initiatives targeting women’s inclusion in the MVC originate in CSRdepartments. During their implementation, however, their market value isunderstood, leading to commercially viable, self-sustaining programmes.6. Participation in the MVC can be a life-changing experience for women In addition to providing flexible additional income to help realise women’saspirations for their children, joining the MVC can be an empoweringexperience.7. Culturally determined roles need not be a barrier Case studies on India and Qatar illustrate that women can be included in theMVC across culturally diverse environments.8. Village phone operator (VPO) programmes need not be tied to a single MNO In a VPO initiative, a vendor is set up in an area with low mobile penetration andsells access to their handset. An example from Indonesia demonstrates that thiscan work with multiple MNO involvement.9. Women need extra support to scale their micro-business and move higher upthe MVC Women entrepreneurs tend to be clustered in the sales agents segment andare frequently unable to take significant advantage of the growth in the mobileindustry by moving higher up the retail chain.10. MNO–NGO partnerships are crucial to reaching isolated rural women as a market Women who live in remote and under-serviced areas often struggle to identifybusiness opportunities. Partnerships between NGOs and MNOs are crucial ifwomen are to be successfully incorporated in the MVC.7
  • 10. 81. IntroductionSome say that women cannot do what mencan. We don’t believe that.Female Vendor, PhilippinesThe rapid growth and evolution of the mobile sectorhas had a huge impact on our social interactions andon economic progress worldwide. In emerging marketsin particular, the industry continues to see massiveexpansion as an increasing proportion of the populationbecomes connected. MNOs are diversifying theirproducts and services to generate additional sources ofincome. This growth has created lots of opportunities foremployment and entrepreneurial activity. However, inmany parts of the world, women have been less able toseize these opportunities due to a variety of factors thatreflect underlying gender inequality – for example, lowerlevels of education, lack of start-up capital, restrictivegender roles and lack of confidence.One of the most direct ways in which womenentrepreneurs can take part in the growth of the mobileindustry is by joining the retail channels of MNOs assellers of mobile products (primarily of airtime, but alsoof more sophisticated offerings in markets where MNOsprovide higher-end mobile-enabled services such asMobile Money). MNOs have some of the most extensiveretail channels, with coverage extending to remote ruralareas. MNO retail channels can also be useful conduitsfor providing other important services such as aiddistribution, education and health services, and thesecan offer further economic opportunities for womenentrepreneurs.What is the MVC?The nature of the mobile distribution network varies bycompany and market, but in general the MVC structurecan be described as follows:It is important to note that, for the purposes of thisreport, when we use the terms ‘mobile vendors’, ‘salesagents’, and ‘retail outlets’, we are referring to those atthe very end of the retail chain, unless otherwise stated.In most markets, the MNOs sell their products viaa direct and an indirect channel. The direct channelcovers the sales of the products of the MNO in questionexclusively (airtime, bundles of handsets and mobileproducts, Mobile Money, SIM registrations, etc.) whileproducts of competing MNOs are often sold at the sameoutlets through the indirect channel.In the direct channel, the MNO may have wholly ownedbranded stores or service centres and may also offerfranchise opportunities for other business people torun a branded store. In the indirect channel, the MNOsupplies products to distributors who in turn supplyother layers of the chain (the number of layers variesdepending on the size of the market and the nature ofthe product) until they reach the sales agents. The salesagents may be shopkeepers, market traders, kioskowners, NGOs, company employees or even individualswithout any fixed premises.Generally, in the indirect channel, the MNO maintainsa contractual relationship only with the top layer of thedistribution chain and therefore relates to the otherlayers only at ‘arm’s length’. Often, the MNO only givessales targets and incentives to the top layer of thechain and they are free to set their own targets andincentives (e.g. commission payments, prizes, salariesetc.) to the sales layers further down. This approachvaries enormously across markets and in some casesthe MNO is more actively involved in the differentlayers of the chain than in others. Aside from financialinvolvement, most MNOs also interact with the differentlayers of the chain by providing merchandise, marketingmaterials and training. The MNO sometimes collectsdata on the performance of each layer.Including women in the MVCIn practice, the targeted inclusion of womenentrepreneurs in the retail networks of MNOs is anidea that has been gaining currency for some time.Several leading MNOs have specific programmes inplace to appoint women as retail network partners intheir respective markets. However, to date, no researchstudy has been conducted to investigate the benefits ofincluding women entrepreneurs in the retail networks ofMNOs as a distinct model.This study aims to demonstrate through its findings thatincluding women entrepreneurs at all levels of the MVCmakes commercial and social sense for both MNOsand women entrepreneurs. To support this argument,we have looked at how women entrepreneurs are beingbrought into the MVC across 11 markets.In section 4, ‘The Experience of Women in the MVC’we review the risks and benefits of adopting such anapproach. During our research, we learned aboutseveral challenges faced by women in the MVC, suchas harassment, low profit margins at the end of theMVC, skill gaps, the lack of the capital needed to startand expand a business, cultural barriers and bribery.However, if these challenges are carefully addressed,there are numerous benefits for women entrepreneursin the MVC. They are able to generate additionalincome by selling mobile-related products andservices, which helps to provide better opportunitiesfor their children. Furthermore, women can benefitfrom the opportunity to learn new skills and grow theirconfidence.Next stepsAs a follow-up to this report, the Cherie Blair Foundationfor Women aims to partner with leaders in the mobileindustry to develop sustainable programmes that willenable women entrepreneurs to better capitalise onthe growth of the mobile industry while minimising theassociated risks.Direct Channel Indirect ChannelSales AgentsOwnedBrandedstoreFranchisedbrandedoutletTraining,marketing,targetsStockist Stockist StockistDealer DealerDealerMNO‘‘‘‘
  • 11. 92. Summary of the Research MethodologyIn order to gain a comprehensive understanding of allthe key factors influencing women’s participation inthe MVC we used a multi-pronged research approachthat involved conducting interviews with relevantstakeholders across 11 markets and desk-basedresearch. The research was undertaken over a periodof three months between July and September 2011.We attempted to obtain quantitative data to investigatethe differences between male and female salesvendors, but of the 14 MNOs we approached for suchdata, only two were able to provide it. Accordingly, oneof our recommendations for further research is thatthe MNOs put in place mechanisms to differentiateperformance data by gender in order to furthersubstantiate some of the findings in this study.While our methodology was primarily qualitative, thekey insights we highlight in this report were consistentlymentioned across stakeholders (MNOs, distributors,women vendors). They were also applicable acrossgeographies, except where noted.We conducted in-depth interviews with:• senior representatives from participating MNOsin each market – to understand the current statusof women in their MVCs and to discuss initiativesspecifically aimed at driving women’s involvement;• NGOs – to look at ways in which MNOs could workwith NGOs to bring more women into the MVC;• independent distributors – to understand how womenare involved in indirect distribution channels;• relevant government departments – to explore howpublic policy affects opportunities for women to beinvolved in the MVC.In addition, we conducted focus group discussions tobetter understand the experience of women and groupswho currently work in the MVC:• women in the MVC – to hear their opinions onparticipation in the MVC; the challenges they face,the benefits they obtain from involvement, and theadvantages they feel they have;• men in the MVC – to understand the ‘acceptability’ ofwomen’s participation in different parts of the MVCand perceptions of women as vendors;• women entrepreneurs not in the MVC – to understandwhy they are not participating;• consumers – to discuss the experiences of shopperspurchasing from male and female sales agents.We also carried out a thorough review of existingliterature relevant to each market to discover the typesof gender initiatives that have been developed in them,so as to draw lessons from these existing programmes.Appendix B lists the various representatives we spoketo across different groups for this study.
  • 12. 10Ultimately, for both distributors and MNOs, decisionsabout whom to hire or contract as sales agents areanchored in commercial considerations. Distributorswho spoke to us explained that their criteria forselecting sales agents included:• capital held by the person wanting to become aretailer• location of their outlet• security and promptness of payment for deliveries• ability to deliver against targets• customer service skills as ‘brand ambassadors’.For MNOs to consider an initiative which specificallytargets the inclusion of women in the MVC, there needsto be clear commercial value in one of these areas – anadvantage that would justify any incremental investmentrequired to bring women on board in a more focusedway. It is interesting to note that most of the specificgender initiatives we came across had their origin in theCSR departments of MNOs. In most cases, commercialbenefits from these initiatives have emerged over timeand MNOs have become increasingly interested inthem from a business perspective. Based on in-depthinterviews with MNOs, we identified three main reasonsfor this trend:• Women entrepreneurs have certain advantages thatcan drive business success.• Involving women has a positive impact on the brand.• Women sales agents can help access new markets.The majority of interviewees came to the conclusionthat women tend to perform better as sales agentswhen given the right support and area of responsibility.3.1 Driving business successThe business of selling mobile products is heavilyfocused on customer service and relies on excellentcustomer relations. For example, sales agents mustexplain different airtime bundle options to consumers,build relationships with regular customers and engagein a friendly manner with casual shoppers. If a vendorhas good customer service skills, they are likely tobe more successful at selling products and meetingtargets.It is worth mentioning here that men and women bothhave valuable skill sets, and that organisations excelwhen men and women work together in strong teams.However, women are underrepresented all too oftenin the work sphere. Since this research focuses on theadded value women can bring to the MVC, we haveconcentrated on the skills and qualities often foundmore commonly among women.Across all the different stakeholders we spoke to indifferent markets (MNOs, distributors, women, NGOs,etc.), women were consistently cited as having superiorcustomer service skills compared to male vendors.Women are perceived to be more patient and thereforemore willing to take the time to explain a complexproduct. They are seen as being better at selling to bothmen and women in most markets.Women score higher than men in the customer serviceratings on which core MNO staff are measured. Inaddition women are more efficient at processingcustomer queries than men. In both cases womenperform better than men by a statistically significantmargin.3In addition to enhanced customer service skills, womenconsider themselves to be more trustworthy than men– and distributors are confident in advancing credit towomen to purchase stock.I feel female agents are better and they aremore hardworking than males. Female sales(agents) are quick, cooperative faithful andhardworking.Distributor, UgandaWomen are considered by many distributors to be betterat handling the financial side of the mobile businesses,allowing them to generate higher returns.Women even talk to a retailer and get thestock on credit and then pay back. Theycan do that for a long period of time withoutdefaulting payment. For men it is not thecase.Distributor, TanzaniaFinally, women in the markets under study were alsoseen to be particularly driven to succeed (meet targets,earn commission etc.) because their success enablesthem to make a positive difference to their families and,in particular, to improve the educational opportunitiesavailable to their children.3. Why Include Women in the MVC?‘‘ ‘‘‘‘ ‘‘
  • 13. 113.2 Creating a stronger brandThe initiatives targeting women’s inclusion in the MVChave often been started under a CSR banner. Brandbuilding was frequently one of the core rationalesbehind the programme. However, in addition to thisbrand impact, simply involving women as sales agentscan have a positive effect on brand perceptions dueto their good customer service skills, as previouslymentioned.Furthermore, women are very often highly trustedmembers of their respective communities. Therefore,brands which are trying to gain entry to a newgeographical area or market segment can use womeneffectively to communicate their brand message as wellas the product’s benefits. Indeed, one of the initiativeswe reviewed for this study had an explicit brand-buildingobjective – and we discuss it in more detail below.Trader Project Pilot InitiativeIt is a kind of stepping stone to proveto myself that I can do anything thatI have set my mind to and also that Ihave some sort of courage in me to dosomething for myself and bring back tomy community.Female TraderFemale traders as a brand outreach toolThe primary goal in this ‘Trader Project’, run by a leadingMNO in a key African market, was to raise brandawareness and improve brand perception. While notan exclusively gender-focused project, the pilot phase(involving around 100 traders) involved mainly women(approximately 80%). In the rural areas concerned, menfrequently migrate to cities in search of employmentopportunities. Women were therefore frequently the mainbreadwinners for their families.In this example, the MNO engaged with the saleschannel at arm’s length through an events managementcompany. Vouchers, SIMs and other products were allsupplied by the ‘super dealer’ normally contracted by thisparticular MNO. The traders in this scheme were paid afixed salary and a commission if they met certain targetsfor airtime sales and SIM or Mobile Money registrations. Inaddition to these mobile products, the traders also soldelectricity to charge phone batteries.Experience of the MNOThe traders were deployed in an area where the MNOhad relatively low brand awareness and where acompetitor was trying to dominate the market througha similar brand outreach scheme. The goals of the pilotwere twofold:•to drive brand awareness in rural markets; and•to educate customers on product offerings anddemonstrate their relevance.At the time of writing this report, the Trader Project wasstill in its pilot phase but, if successful, the hope is that itwill help drive women’s participation further up the valuechain.Experience of the female participantsWe spoke to some of the women traders to understandwhy they got involved in the pilot. The key benefit ofthe project was the additional income for the women.Participants mentioned that they were also learningnew business skills and were able to increase their self-confidence. A common challenge faced by participantswas dealing with aggressive or abusive customers – butas a group of women traders working together, they wereable to work out strategies to overcome this problem.The idea is, if it works, we roll outnationally – then these traders will turnout to be the star performers who thenwill evolve into store managers or storesupervisors.MNO project managerLessons learnt•In rural areas where women form the majority, MNOscan involve women as a key brand outreach tooland provide them with an opportunity to improve theirlivelihoods.•Even if the long-term aim is to create self-sustainingentrepreneurial traders who purchase their own airtimeand make a living from commission payments, it isnecessary to pay a salary initially while participantslearn the requisite sales skills – and then to transition toa commission-based model to drive sales.•If the primary goal is to drive brand and productawareness, rather than sales, a salary model isnecessary, as these areas experience less customertraffic and therefore low commission payments.3.3 Access to new marketsWe found in our analysis of market opportunities thatMNOs and distributors can gain access to new marketsor enhance their access to current markets by thetargeted inclusion of women in the MVC.In some of the markets included in this report, menand women live gender-segregated lives outside theirfamily homes, making it more difficult or impossible forwomen to purchase products from male sales agents.Nevertheless, in the case of the Al Johara channel inQatar, Vodafone has been able to access this previouslyuntapped market (see section 6.4 for the related casestudy). Even in less gender-segregated environments,we found that women (who are often widely connectedwith their communities) give MNOs wider access acrossthe potential customer spectrum.Including women in the MVC can be particularly beneficialto MNOs when working in partnership with local NGOsbecause the latter often have access to a large network ofwomen. From the perspective of the MNO, working withthese existing groups is a cost-effective way of extendingthe company’s distribution network into new territories, asoutlined in a number of case studies in this report.‘‘ ‘‘‘‘ ‘‘
  • 14. 124. The Experience of Women in the MVCWe have explored why MNOs might want to includewomen in their retail networks, but what about thewomen themselves? Why do women get involved inthe MVC? What are their experiences, what benefits dothey gain and what challenges do they face?We carried out focus group discussions among womeninvolved in the MVC in eight out of the 11 marketscovered in this study.4The experiences of the womenwere surprisingly similar.4.1 Getting started in the MVCIn most cases, women who participate in the MVC doso to complement other business activities. A number offactors can trigger or facilitate their involvement:• demand from existing customers for mobileproducts such as airtime top-ups;• desire to supplement earnings – for example throughseasonally dependent income such as agriculture;• low upfront investment required – the cost of theinitial stock of airtime vouchers is minimal and, inthe case of electronic top-ups, only a ‘retailer SIM’ isrequired;• Indian women we consulted had become involved inthe MVC by joining the family retail business;• Tanzanian women we spoke to felt that working as avendor was one of the few business careers opento them, because their education was limited andjoining the very end of the retail MVC required onlybasic skills.Getting involved in the MVC is easy – either as afirst business or to gain supplementary income4.2 Mobile sales channelsMobile products are easily portable and can besold via numerous convenient channelsThere are many ‘channels’ through which womenentrepreneurs sell mobile products. In India, womentend to sell mobile products from family-run shops,while in Africa most vendors operate via informal streetoutlets. These range from semi-permanent structureslike booths or stalls through to movable ‘barrows’ ofgoods or improvised tables showcasing goods underthe shade of an umbrella (often branded and providedby the MNO). Most of these micro-businesses arenot legally registered and are therefore vulnerable toexploitation, fraud and corruption.In Qatar, women involved in the Al Johara initiativesometimes sell products in their own homes.In the Philippines, many women sell goods in smallstores that are located in their homes and a smallpart of the store is dedicated to the display of mobileproducts – some vendors are provided with a ‘kit box’from the MNO to display their products:In our house, in my peanut butter store, I justplaced a signage and a small stand. Eachnetwork gave us kits. It’s like a small boxwhere you can put your SIM cards. I don’thave a stall or kiosk, I only have kits.Vendor, Philippines4.3 Benefits for women in the MVCThe women we spoke to cited numerous benefits fromgetting involved in the MVC, including the following:Economic benefits• Becoming a mobile vendor provides an additionalincome for the household and a way for womento contribute directly to the improvement of theirchildren’s educational and economic prospects.• In addition to a low commission-based income,a number of women spoke of additional ‘bonus’incentives they get for meeting sales targets – forexample free consumer goods, a meal out, etc.Business benefits• Selling mobile products can be easily and seamlesslyintegrated into a pre-existing retail business.• The business can provide useful on-the-job trainingand skills development in terms of dealing withaccounts, suppliers and customers, and can thereforeserve as a stepping stone for women entrepreneurswho have aspirations to expand into other businessareas.The promotion of female participation in theMVC is not simply a commercial imperative forMNOs but offers substantial benefits to womenentrepreneurs as well‘‘ ‘‘
  • 15. 13Lifestyle benefits• Selling mobile-related products is a business whichallows women to balance their home and businesslives with relative ease – in some instances (e.g.electronic top-ups), the business can be conducteddirectly from women’s homes. Generally there isflexibility to allow for childcare duties.• A woman can become a vendor of mobile productsat any stage in her life because the trade is relativelyeasy to learn. It can provide a new ‘lease of life’ toparents whose children have left home.Psychological benefits• Being involved in the MVC leads to an improvedsense of self-confidence.• A role in the MVC can help women improve theirstanding in a community and garner increasedrespect from their husband and other familymembers.• In the Philippines, women considered the trade tobe a good way to meet new people.4.4 Challenges for women in the MVCWomen face particular challenges in participatingin the MVC – any targeted initiative topromote their inclusion should take these intoconsiderationThe key challenge mentioned by the vast majority ofwomen engaged in the MVC was that the marginsinvolved in selling airtime are low due to the natureof the business at the lower end of the mobile retailchain. It is for this reason that participation in theMVC is considered either as supplementary to otherincome-generating activities or as a more casual form ofemployment, providing ‘petty cash’ rather than being themain income stream.Women vendors also reported other problems they facein their businesses, which can be classified as technical,security and social challenges, and these are outlinedbelow. In some cases, men face similar challengesin the MVC. However, women in particular are oftenunable to move into the distribution layer of the MVC.As the World Bank reports in its 2012 DevelopmentReport,5women face barriers to employment andentrepreneurship opportunities including difficulty inaccessing capital, credit and/or required business skills.Technical challenges• Problems with scratch cards – expiry, physicaldegradation, counterfeits.• Issues relating to electronic top-ups – for exampledelay in loading, double sending, lack of networkcoverage, inaccurate charging.• Complexity relating to the range of and rapid changesto the variety of promotions being offered by thedifferent MNO.Security challenges• Robbery, sexual harassment and extortion,particularly for those who operate in informal channels(rather than in shops).• Fraud – for example some women reported beingvictims of counterfeiting.Many times my husband goes to the suppliersto pick up my goods and pays them. I handlethe delivery. He does not like me going to thesupplier’s place on my own.Vendor, IndiaSocial challenges• Overcoming the objections of male relatives,particularly in countries where women’s participationin commercial activities is not the norm, such as inIndia, Qatar and Bahrain.• See the Al Johara and Hand in Hand/Uninor casestudies for examples (Appendix A).4.5 ConclusionsWhen we interviewed women participants in the MVC,clear benefits emerged which outweighed the risks.While the profit from the small-scale selling of basicmobile products is not adequate to provide a livelihood,it is helpful as a supplement to other commercialactivities due to the steady demand for these products.Monthly income generated through mobile salesvaried across markets, but ranged from USD42 toUSD298.6Selling mobile products is also a relativelysimple business with low barriers to entry, providingwomen with an easy opportunity to gain experience andbusiness skills as independent entrepreneurs.‘‘ ‘‘
  • 16. 145. Promoting the Inclusion of Women in the MvcAs we have seen, the targeted inclusion of womenentrepreneurs in the retail networks of MNOs offerssignificant advantages to MNOs as well as to women.In most markets, the majority of the retail network iscontrolled by independent distributors – a disparategroup of relatively small businesses. As such, from anMNO perspective, proactively engaging with distributorsand promoting initiatives to increase the involvement ofwomen in the MVC is highly recommended.In African markets, where women comprise morethan 50% of mobile sales agents, efforts should focuson how to enable women entrepreneurs to scale uptheir businesses from micro to small and growingbusinesses. Based on a review of the initiativesdiscussed in this report, we summarise below goodpractices for MNOs and distributors to increase theproportion of women in their retail chains. We thenturn to the role that other stakeholders such as NGOsand governments can play in providing economicopportunities for women in the MVC.5.1 Building a business caseAs we have noted previously, initiatives targetingwomen can often be pigeonholed under the CSRdepartment. While such programmes may originatehere, it is important for MNOs and distributors to buildan internal business case in order to obtain buy-in fromall the relevant departments and thereby ensure thelong-term viability of such programmes. We are hopefulthat the findings of this study will provide some impetusto MNOs, but we also recommend:• reviewing current performance data of vendors(customer service data and/or sales data) should beanalysed by gender to discover the advantages ofworking with women vendors (currently, data maynot be split by gender, but MNOs often have regularcontact with their arm’s-length sales force whenproviding merchandising materials. This affords anopportunity to record the gender of the sales agentand thereby make such a data analysis);• if not currently done, putting mechanisms in placeto collect data (for both MNOs and distributors);• piloting any prospective project with an eye tolonger-term roll out;• collecting relevant metrics during the pilot phase tobuild the business case.5.2 Adopting a gender-sensitive and culturallyembedded approachIn some markets (predominantly the Middle East, Indiaand Indonesia), cultural barriers to women’s participationin the labour market are more prevalent. As such, anyprogramme which seeks to include women as vendors(or otherwise) must take these factors into considerationand work closely within those values and norms.It is important to ensure that the whole family isengaged with and appreciates the benefits ofthe involvement of the women concerned in theprogramme. Working within the context of social andcultural norms and demonstrating the benefits ofinvolving women helps achieve buy-in from the familyand community.Furthermore, gender-specific challenges faced bywomen should be taken into consideration andprevented or mitigated. These include but are notlimited to harassment, exploitation and violence. Allinitiatives involving women should be designed tomitigate these risks. For example, in India, it is notappropriate for women vendors to travel from place toplace in some areas and therefore a fixed location fortheir retail enterprise may be a good idea.5.3 Advancing start-up capital for mobilesales businessIn a number of markets and, in particular, in thosewhere women live below the poverty line, access tostart-up capital was considered as a barrier to entry inthe MVC, at least at the level of the first-time vendor.A number of approaches can be taken to addressthis issue in a way which does not detract from thecommercial viability of the programme:• The first stock provided to women vendors could begiven on credit, which can be repaid as the businessbecomes self-sustaining.• The MNO can partner with a microfinanceorganisation, which can provide the initial creditneeded.• A group of women can pool resources to help kick-start their businesses. This mechanism could build onexisting social financial solutions such as ‘chit funds’in India or ‘merry-go-rounds’ in East Africa wherewomen contribute regular amounts to a group savingsand loan fund.• Initially, women can limit their products to thosewhich require only minimal investment – for exampleelectronic top-ups which only require a ‘retailer SIM’to get started.5.4 Providing ongoing incentivesIn addition to the ‘start-up’ funds required, some thoughtcould be devoted to more sustainable incentives forwomen vendors, such as a rewards system. Therewards system should be transparent and well
  • 17. 15understood by participants. It should also be linked tothe goals of the programme itself. For instance:• If sales are the key goal, it might be necessary to paya basic salary initially in order to give agents the timeto ‘get up to speed’ and then, over time, transition to acommission-based system.• If driving brand awareness is the goal, as noted inthe ‘Trader Project’ case study, paying a fixed salaryis necessary to ensure that participants trade in therequired areas rather than in locations which alreadyenjoy high customer traffic.We found that, in most markets, the margins from theairtime-selling business at the retail end are quite low.As such, to maintain the involvement of participants wewould recommend:• supplementing basic commission payments withadditional target-based incentives. In a number ofcases we have seen that these incentives are often inthe form of consumer durables; however, we suggestcash bonuses may be more effective because theycan provide additional capital for the vendor toexpand her business further;• encouraging vendors to stock a variety ofaccessories like mobile covers, screen guards improve revenues;• where Mobile Money products exist in a market,consider recruiting women as Mobile Moneyagents, to provide an additional revenue stream bothfor the MNO and the vendor.5.5 Offering training and supportAny sales agent requires training, but depending on theskills of the women recruited, some additional trainingsupport may be necessary. In societies where womenare not traditionally involved in commerce and tend tobe labelled solely as ‘home makers’, general trainingon ‘personal development’ to increase self-confidencemay be necessary in addition to the usual training onthe product, marketing, etc. It is also helpful to repeattraining sessions and make use of mentors and role-plays to ensure that the required skills are internalisedby participants.In terms of ongoing support, mobile technology itselfcan be leveraged by delivering training updates andproviding information using a short message service(SMS), mobile web or Interactive Voice Response(IVR)-based methods. If the women are illiterate, usingan icon-based interface on the handset (e.g. for thevending of electronic top-ups) can be effective.Finally, in markets where women sales agents are notthe norm, it is important to provide branded ‘kits’ tovendors (one example is the Al Johara initiative’s redsuitcases) to provide them with support, legitimacy andcredibility.5.6 Recommendations for NGOsWhile the focus of this study is on MNOs, in manyof the case studies NGOs and MNOs have partneredin a mutually beneficial way. There are numerousbenefits for women that arise from their involvementin the MVC and, as such, any NGO with a genderempowerment or entrepreneur development remitcould help create economic opportunities forwomen by working with an MNO. Below are somerecommendations for NGOs thinking about engagingin partnership with MNOs:• The NGOs should be open to partnering with a privatecompany. If handled appropriately, the goals of boththe MNO and the NGO can be furthered.• In considering the partnership, the NGO should thinkbeyond the CSR department of the MNO in orderto make the programme scalable and sustainableover the longer term. There should be demonstrablecommercial benefits (as well as benefits for thewomen concerned).• In most of the cases discussed herein, NGOs offerMNOs access to new markets via their network ofbeneficiaries – this is a unique benefit that an NGOcan offer.• Working with microfinance institutions (who in turncan leverage the Mobile Money offers of MNOs) canhelp kick-start the businesses of women participants.• Since the NGO will be contributing to a competitivebenefit, it may be difficult to work effectively withmultiple MNOs at the same time. This issue should beconsidered at the outset of any programme.• Collaborating with relevant government departmentscan be a way of accessing additional support andexpertise, and demonstrating that the NGO has acompelling proposition for such departments.5.7 Recommendations for governmentsGovernments are responsible for setting thelegislative and regulatory context in which MNOsand other actors operate. Most administrations havetelecommunication, private sector development andgender-focused departments which can impact oneconomic opportunities for women entrepreneurs.Of those we consulted in this study, the promotion ofwomen’s involvement in the MVC was a natural fit withtheir goals. Accordingly, here are some brief policyrecommendations:• Many vendors at the bottom of the value chainoperate ‘informally’. Making it easier to registera business (providing guidance on the process,reducing red tape) and ensuring that theadministrative burden on small businesses is lowcan help bring vendors into the formal economy.• Vendors of mobile products often have very small-scale businesses with low revenues/profits. Providingbusiness training to these vendors can help themscale up their businesses.• Public–private partnerships can be a cost-effectiveway of providing business training – for example, inthe Philippines, the Technical Education and SkillsDevelopment Authority (TESDA) and the Coca-Cola Export Corporation collaborate through such apartnership.• Governments could think creatively on how toleverage the mobile channel as a service deliverymechanism. Basic services such as the provision ofinformation can be undertaken cost effectively andwith wide reach via the mobile.
  • 18. 166. In-depth Market AnalysisIn sections 3 to 5 we aggregated the findings andrecommendations that are common to all the marketswe studied for the compilation of this report. However,we recognise that each country has its own cultural,institutional and market factors which shape the inclusionand position of women entrepreneurs in the MVC.Consequently, in this section, we present a detailedanalysis of five markets in order to highlight the lessonslearnt and thus enable future programme developmentto be embedded in local contexts. We selected India, thePhilippines, Tanzania, Qatar and South Africa to be thesubjects of more in-depth analysis.7In each instance, we:• provide an overview of the market;• provide an overview of the level of gender inequality inthe market;• highlight relevant government initiatives;• describe the current situation of women in the MVC – inboth direct and indirect channels;• give examples where women have been deliberatelyintegrated into the MVC.Then, in section 7, we provide brief analyses of the marketsin Indonesia, Bahrain, Ghana, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire andUganda. This last part of the study aims to deepen ourunderstanding of the benefits of and challenges to women’sinclusion in the MVC; however, further research needsto be undertaken before we can draw country-specificconclusions about each of these markets.6.1 IndiaPopulation81,189,172,906Mobile subscriptions per 100 inhabitants961.42Global Gender Gap Ranking (out of 135countries)10113Country summaryA rising economic power, India is one of the fastest growingcountries in the world. It is the ninth-largest economy by nominalGDP and the fourth largest economy by purchasing power parity.However, it continues to face challenges such as poverty, illiteracy,corruption and inadequate public health.Mobile market Key MNOsIndia has a very competitiveMNO market with more thana dozen different serviceproviders, which has resultedin low costs for consumersbut also extremely lowmargins for MNOs. Manycommentators anticipate adegree of consolidation ofthis crowded market in thenear future.MNO Approx. share11Bharti Airtel 28%Vodafone India 19%Reliance 12%IDEA 12%Tata Teleservices 10%BSNL 6%Gender and governmentThe government of India has promulgated many laws to protectwomen’s rights. However, the application of these laws is oftenweak. Women’s freedom of movement is limited, particularly incommunities in the North. “My name isPavitra. I am a26-year-old motherof one baby girl. Ilive in Santa Cruz. I Irun a general storewith my husband.We stock differentproducts includingrecharge cards.We manage theshop together.We have been inbusiness for over ayear now.Initially our businessmainly focused on household goods, but with customerdemand my husband decided that we should stockairtime, phone chargers and SIM cards. At first I wasopposed to the idea as I felt it would be a boring job fora woman. It sounded technical and male oriented. Butnow I have got used to the business. For instance I nolonger struggle with technical terms and people respectme as they find me knowledgeable.I am currently trying to study phones and soon will getinto the phone repair business. Since you cannot rely onselling airtime and phone batteries 100%, you must haveother side-businesses. This means attending to more thanone customer or supplier at a time.The key challenge in this airtime business is that the profitmargins are low. For instance a 1,000 rupee vouchergives only about 25 rupees in profit. To make mattersworse, our shop is situated near a barracks and thesoldiers usually make purchases in small units like 10s,20s, 25s, 30s and 50s which is even less profitable.Despite the low income, every bit helps and I feel betternow because I can be responsible for something on myown.”
  • 19. 17To understand the current involvement of women inthe MVC in India we spoke to people involved in boththe direct and indirect channels of MNOs. The indirectchannel forms the bulk of sales outlets.Indirect channelIn India, the indirect channel largely consists of small‘general stores’ which stock many types of goodssuch as groceries, hardware and other basic sundries.According to the general manager of the rural salesand distribution centre for a large Indian MNO, hisdistributors (‘channel partners’) often supply the retailoutlets with multiple categories of goods; an efficientway of distribution in rural locations.The MNO supplies approximately 200,000 retailersvia 1,800 channel partners, with all retailers offeringpre-pay top-ups and some also conducting SIM cardregistrations. Retailers increasingly deal in electronictop-ups rather than scratch cards (estimated to be only20% of top-ups now). Both retailers and distributorsare motivated through the use of competitions (e.g. towin gold and vehicles) as well as the usual commissionpayments and margins.It was estimated by the general manager thatapproximately 30% of sales agents at the end of theMVC are women, often in small family-owned stores.Regional variation occurs – for example, more malesales agents operate in dangerous locations like Jammuand Kashmir, and more women operate as salesagents in Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Maharashtra andGujarat. Distributors also have targets for increasing thenumbers of sales agents in their regions, but no specificinstructions relating to gender.While gender does not appear to be a factor inrecruitment, women are seen as having specificadvantages as sales agents; they are good ‘networkers’particularly in rural areas, they have patience, and theyare better at explaining products and interacting withcustomers.At the retail store it’s a huge advantagebecause women are definitely able to explainin a better way than men.Distributor, IndiaPerhaps to leverage these benefits, the sales managerwe interviewed had previously approached the SelfEmployed Women Association (SEWA) to see if theMNO could make use of their women’s network asa distribution channel. This is the same model usedby HLL Hindustan Lever Ltd (Unilever) in their ShaktiVani programme which incorporates entrepreneursas an extension of their distribution network; it is alsothe same model used by Uninor in their partnershipwith Hand in Hand (HiH) and by Vodafone in theirpartnership with Ankuram Sangamam Poram (ASP).Direct channelWe spoke to two Indian MNOs to get a perspectiveof the nature of women’s participation in their directlyowned retail outlets.This is because this is a very customer-oriented business. Women have thesensitivity to manage a customer issue.Ram Iyer, Vodafone IndiaAccording to Ram Iyer at Vodafone India, the companylikes to employ women because of their customerservice skills and, accordingly, the gender balance intheir stores is more equal than is generally the caseacross India – around 40% of retail staff are women.The proportion in rural stores is somewhat lowerhowever at approximately 20–30%. Vodafone India isengaged in a project which will help improve this genderimbalance under the aegis of the Indian government’sSanchar Shakti programme.The Sanchar Shakti Programme12Government, NGOs, MNOs work together towardswomen’s empowermentSanchar Shakti demonstrates how multiple stakeholderscan successfully work together to build a serviceprogramme which stimulates entrepreneurship, helpsaddress gender imbalances and provides a platform forlong-term sustainable micro-enterprises. Vodafone India’sinitiative is an excellent example of one of the projectswithin the Sanchar Shakti programme.In this initiative, Vodafone is working with a local NGO,ASP, to help support the empowerment of around 2,500women organised in roughly 160 SHGs across AndhraPradesh. Vodafone is training female members ofthe SHGs to act as Vodafone retailers within their owncommunities (primarily using e-top-ups). ASP providesmicro-loans to the participants in the programme andis able to monitor the progress of the women’s groupmembers using a customised icon-based GeneralPacket Radio Service (GPRS) data collection applicationwhich allows SHG leaders to report commercial andsocial impact data relating to their activities. Vodafoneprovides support, marketing materials and training.Lessons learnt from Sanchar ShaktiSanchar Shakti demonstrates the benefits of multiplestakeholders working collaboratively to foster women’seconomic empowerment. In the case of the Vodafone/ASP collaboration, SHG members gain increased incomeand training – while Vodafone gains valuable enhancedaccess to the rural market in Andhra Pradesh.‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘
  • 20. 18Another example of a successful MNO–NGO partnershipto support the inclusion of women in the MVC is Uninor andHiH’s Citizen Centre Initiative. We interviewed Madhu SinghSirohi of Uninor India about this programme. Uninor sellsits products through a variety of channels such as brandedoutlets, normal retailers, and through a women-onlychannel. Uninor is a lot more involved in the selection ofretailers than other MNOs. Their sales force team helps toselect retailers and assign them to distributors, as well as totrain them, conduct stock checks, etc. Madhu estimates thataround 5% of this sales force is formed by women. Thereare a number of reasons for the gender bias including socialstigma, but there are also practical matters preventing theemployment of more women, such as security, becausesales agents need to travel to remote, smaller and poorertowns which form part of Uninor’s retailer network.With respect to the retail outlets, very few are run bywomen, less than 1% according to an estimate made byMadhu – but Uninor’s HiH programme aims to improvethis percentage so that more women entrepreneurs cangenerate an income and improve their livelihoods.HiH Citizen Centre Initiative with UninorMNO–NGO sales channel facilitates access tofemale consumersConceived in Tamil Nadu, this initiative is a partnershipbetween HiH, a large NGO with a remit ranging frombuilding capacity in micro-enterprise to environmentalstewardship projects, and Uninor. HiH and Uninor havecreated a series of Citizen Centres which are equippedwith various IT hardware and training materials. Thesecentres serve as information access points for people inthe area, thereby facilitating their social and economicempowerment.In addition to this function, Uninor and HiH have recruitedand trained women to use these centres as sales channelsfor Uninor. The women who take part in the initiative areclients of appropriate Citizen Centres (those near enoughto mobile base stations), who demonstrate financialdiscipline and who meet various social criteria.Participating women are trained in sales, basic businessadministration and IT skills. They are then given a loanfor the purchase of their first stock of scratch cardsand begin operating as an independent business.Uninor holds a meeting every two to three months withparticipants to reward the best performers and to refreshtheir training. The women are also provided with SIMswhich give them free calls amongst the group, therebyproviding a support network for the entrepreneurs and asimple way of sharing information.Currently there are 110 centres of this nature in TamilNadu, with plans to scale up to 500 in the state bythe end of 2012 and also to branch out into otherstates (Maharashtra, Orissa, etc). Uninor is also workingwith the Indian government under the aegis of theirUniversal Service Obligation to provide an IVR-basedinformation service which provides women with a varietyof information – for example on maternal health, financeetc.Benefits for UninorWhile the HiH initiative had its genesis as a CSRprogramme, it is now being scaled up due to the soundcommercial benefits which have been demonstrated toUninor, including but not limited to the following:•The initiative has allowed Uninor to penetrate the ruralmarket in Tamil Nadu.•The initiative provides an alternative distribution channelfor the company.•Citizen Centres are branded with the Uninor logo andcolours, building brand awareness.•The initiative facilitates a better customer experiencefor women buyers. Women reported that when theyhad to approach men to top up their credit, this wasoften met with snide remarks about ‘talking all night’and other belittling comments. In addition, womenmentioned that they feel more comfortable havinganother woman explain how to use a phone or thebenefits of a certain package or tariff.•The Uninor sales force created a special tariff targetedat women.Benefits for participantsI am very happy to be a part of [the] HiHUninor initiative. The training providedunder the project was very useful. Thisproject has helped me to get a muchbetter income.R Vanaja, Citizen Centre, GudiyattamOverall, the HiH/Uninor initiative has been very successfulfrom the point of view of the beneficiaries. Not all thewomen who started the pilot continued and succeededas entrepreneurs. For some, this was due to a lack ofentrepreneurial drive. Uninor addressed this issue byimproving the selection of appropriate candidates. Otherswere hindered by lack of support from their families.However, the majority of women found the training usefuland received a number of benefits, including:•improved income opportunities•access to knowledge via the IVR service•greater sense of self-confidence•improved security•respect from family members including husbands•increased respect within the community.Lessons learnt from the HiH/Uninor project•A partnership with an NGO may require capacitybuilding. Uninor has a sophisticated system whichcaptures performance metrics of distributors and salesagents across their retail network. However, as HiH hasa different mission, it does not have such an elaboratedistribution monitoring system, and some work wasrequired in order to capture the necessary data.•There may be greater training needs. The participantsin this project were underprivileged women who hadhad few educational opportunities in their lives. Theyhad very little familiarity with business or with the mobiletechnology market. As such, the level of training andreinforcement required to get them ‘up to speed’was higher than for an average agent. However, asnoted above, the return on this investment in terms ofsales efficiency and access to new markets was alsohigher.‘‘ ‘‘
  • 21. 196.2 The PhilippinesPopulation13101,833,938Mobile subscriptions per 100 inhabitants1485.67Global Gender Gap Ranking (out of 135countries)158Country summaryLabelled one of the South-East Asian Tiger ‘cubs’, the Philippineshas seen strong economic growth over the last two decades.However, the benefits of economic growth have been mixed,which has prevented the Philippines from keeping pace withmany of its East Asian neighbours in reducing poverty. While thePhilippines is rapidly transitioning to an economy dominated byservices, one third of the population are still employed in theagricultural sector. The Philippines is also characterised by havinga large overseas population. Around 10 million Filipinos workoverseas. Remittances from these overseas workers help drive theeconomy and account for at least 10% of the country’s GDP.Mobile market Key MNOsAdvanced and competitivemobile market, led by SmartCommunications which offersa diverse range of tariffsincluding low price ‘Bottomof the Pyramid’ (BoP) focusedoffers. Globe Telecom, theother key player, targets thebusiness segment and offerscompetitive data prices,while Sun Cellular is a relativenewcomer, having enteredthe market in 2003.MNO Approx. share16SmartCommunications60%Globe Telecom 25%Sun Cellular 12%Gender and governmentOn an institutional and political level, the Philippines has arelatively good record in terms of gender equality. Cory Aquinowas South-East Asia’s first female head of state when she tookpower in 1986 and women continue to be elected or appointedinto senior political positions. In addition, various gender-specificgovernment bodies exist, such as the Women’s Business Council ofthe Philippines. Nonetheless, on a cultural level, significant genderimbalances remain not least because of customary laws thatdiscriminate against women in rural areas.“My name is Sherly.I am a 28-year-oldsingle lady. I operatea mobile loadingstation that deals withe-loading, smart load,selling SIM cards andcall cards. Alongsidethis business I alsosell food items andin the evenings I tutorstudents for a smallfee. My business islocated in a stall and Ido not have children.I intend to settle onceI am financially stable.I live with my elder brother who works in River Bank Mallin Marikina. I have been in this business for the last threeyears.The secret to my success in this business is that I am ableto pick [up] on my customer’s demand and offer it. Forinstance I introduced Smart load a few months ago afterI discovered it’s in high demand. I never tell my customersI don’t offer a service but rather assure them that the nexttime they come they will get the service. I know mostof my frequent clients’ numbers so I usually load theirphones wherever they are. I am also very hard working. Iopen at 6am, I close at 11pm.I believe females are better in this loading businessthan men because we are good in customer relations.Because of this, I have noticed that people always insiston buying from me, even if I’ve already closed my shop,regardless of whether there are other stalls nearby thatare open. They tell me to load for them electronicallyand then they will pay me later.The key problem I am currently facing is to wait forcustomers to pay up after I have loaded their phoneselectronically. I have tried to mitigate this by refusing toload a customer’s phone before they pay up the arrears.I am learning more as I develop my business and I will notgive anything for free because I need my own income.”We interviewed Tricia Dizon of Smart Communications,Philippines’ leading MNO, to get a perspective onthe different roles played by men and women in theindustry. Unlike the other markets we have reviewedin this study, in the Philippines, electronic top-ups arethe primary form of adding credit to a pre-paid mobilephone, although India also appears to be moving in thisdirection.In the ‘e-load’ system, a consumer can purchaseairtime from another phone owner (with an appropriateSIM) thereby circumventing the distribution challengesof scratch cards and making it worthwhile to sellmuch smaller airtime values. This means that thecapital investment required to become a vendor ofairtime is minimal – around 500 pesos (USD12). Thewomen interviewed in this study said that they makearound USD69 per month from selling scratch cardsand around USD139 per month from Mobile Moneytransfers.Smart has relatively few players in its distributionnetwork – around 20 regional distributors and 120provincial distributors. As is the case in other markets,the majority of these distributors (approximately 90%)are male. The reason cited for this was the necessity totravel around (by motorbike) to do the job effectively.Smart partners with a microfinance organisation and asocial enterprise to enable women in small conveniencestores to become e-charge vendors under a programmecalled ‘Hapinoy’. These stores form part of Smart’snetwork of primary points of sale, which are increasinglymoving beyond airtime sales to becoming cash-in/outagents for Smart Money. This form of distributionnetwork is unique to the Philippines and demonstratesthe benefits of a long-term MNO–NGO partnership.
  • 22. 20Hapinoy StoresThe Hapinoy programme is a partnership between Smart,Microventures Inc (a for-profit social enterprise), and thebusiness development services (BDS) arm of The Center forAgriculture and Rural Development Mutually ReinforcingInstitutions (CARD MRI), the largest microfinance institutionin the Philippines. ‘Hapinoy’ is a play on words – ‘Happy’and ‘Pinoy’, the colloquial word for Filipino.Under the scheme, CARD BDS provides loans tostoreowners to help them develop their businesses bybecoming part of the MVC for Smart. Smaller stores in thescheme, 90% of which are owned by women, receivemerchandising and are able to start selling e-charges aswell as SIMs and other Smart products.Larger stores are 100%-owned by women and theybecome Smart Money Exchange Centres, therebyallowing smaller stores in the area to service theirmicrofinance loans through this Mobile Money product.Smart designed their e-charging system with the BoP inmind, designing a special, easy-to-understand menusystem and a familiar SMS-based transaction interface,thus making it simple for small store owners to sell airtime.Benefits for SmartThrough the Hapinoy programme, Smart has been ableto tap into a massive pre-existing distribution network andreach the BoP market efficiently, supplying that marketwith airtime in affordable e-charge denominations.Smart also benefits from the nature of small store owners.These are locally embedded merchants who have closeconnections with their patrons – as the primary vendors ofSmart products, these women make a big contribution tothe brand loyalty of their consumers and help the brandmaintain its dominant position in the marketplace.Benefits for participantsWomen participating in the Hapinoy programmebenefit from additional income and a greater feeling ofindependence. In addition, tapping into the Mobile Moneysystem allows them to pay bills, transfer money and makepurchases a lot more cheaply and efficiently, therebyfurther enhancing the prospects of their businesses.6.3 TanzaniaPopulation 1742,746,620Mobile subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 1846.8Global Gender Gap Ranking (out of 135countries) 1959Country summaryTanzania is a developing East-African country. Primarily an agrarianeconomy, agriculture accounts for more than half of the GDP,provides approximately 75% of export earnings and employs over75% of the country’s labour force.Mobile market Key MNOsVery competitive mobilemarket. A recent major pricewar has driven down ratesfor consumers but increasednetwork congestion. Allmajor operators have MobileMoney services available withVodacom’s M-Pesa serviceleading the field.MNO Approx. share20Vodacom 37%Airtel 30%Tigo 25%Zantel 8%Gender and governmentWomen provide 80% of the labour force in rural areas andcontribute approximately 60% of food production; however,embedded structural inequalities mean that women do notbenefit fully from this dominance. About 60% of women inTanzania live in absolute poverty.21The Tanzanian government has passed several laws to help redressthe gender imbalance on an institutional level, such as the LandLaw Act of 1999 and a 2006 Employment Act. According to theprincipal community development officer for gender issues forthe Government of Tanzania, the government is trying to increasewomen’s participation in all areas of business through the creationof a bank specifically targeted at women. The governmenthas also recently partnered with Vodacom, via its VodacomFoundation wing to build capacity of women entrepreneurs.“My name is Marion. Iam 22 years old andlive with my parentsand four of myyounger siblings.I dropped out ofschool two years agodue to lack of schoolfees. One day a friendof mine gave me theidea of selling airtime.I did not have thecapital so I startedoff with working at asmall restaurant as anattendant. I saved upmoney and with timeI was able to buy andsell airtime, still working at the restaurant. When I decidedto get into the airtime business full time, I discovered thatthe 30,000 Tanzanian shillings (TZS) I had saved up wastoo little to finance the initial capital that was required. Ineeded at least TZS100,000.So I am currently an attendant in a small businesssituated in the busy Manzese area along Morogoro road.Besides sale of airtime and SIM cards, we offer M-Pesatransaction services, register lines and replace lost ones.We also sell phone batteries and offer battery chargingservices at a fee. I am paid on a commission basis. Asa woman I can easily be employed as an attendant asmost employers tend to trust women with their financeshere more than they do men.The downside of being an attendant in this business isthat you have to pay for any losses out of your pocket.The shop is quite squeezed and it is therefore difficult tomonitor all customers, especially when they are many.One time a customer stole a modem and I had to payTZS25,000 for it! Another time, a customer used a fake IDand conducted an M-Pesa transaction worth TZS10,000which I had to pay for. These are the difficulties, but I amstill saving because I do want to start my own businessand move into my own home.”
  • 23. 21We spoke to Airtel Tanzania about women’sparticipation in their direct and indirect sales channels.In respect of the indirect sales channel, only one outof 17 of its dealers is a woman and only 12 out of 118distributors of e-vouchers are women. Airtel confirmsthat there are no specific initiatives in place to increasewomen’s participation levels. Structural obstaclesfaced by women mean that they have fewer chances toplay a role at this level of the distribution network. Thewomen we spoke to as part of the study explained thatthey make between USD42 and USD298 per monthfrom mobile products depending on the location of thebusiness and the products offered.Some of the ladies that have been workingwith us are actually doing very well butnothing is being done at the moment toinvolve more women.Airtel TanzaniaAs we have seen elsewhere, the main limiting factorregarding women’s involvement at higher levels ofthe retail chain is caused by a lack of business skillsand capital. In order to qualify to be a zonal dealer forAirtel for example, a person must raise TZS200 million(approximately USD120,000) and to be a distributorof e-vouchers, the capital requirement is around TZS5million (approximately USD3,000).We spoke to distributors at one of the major MNOs inTanzania to understand how they find and select agentsat the different levels of the value chain, and whatbarriers and opportunities there are for women at eachlevel.In the case of the MNO we spoke to, there were fourlayers in the value chain, starting with super dealers,followed by wholesalers, retailers and, finally, individualvendors. As noted above, the key criteria for recruitmentinto the value chain is working capital, but in addition,the following are important:• knowledge of the industry• previous distribution experience• having appropriately located outlets.All the above barriers to women’s inclusion reflect thegeneral lack of economic and educational opportunitiesopen to women in Tanzania.Ladies [have] got the passion and relate wellwith customers, they have good customercare and so they stay longer in the channelthan the men. You will even find that thecompany relies much more on the womenthan the men.Distributor, TanzaniaHowever, when looking at vendors of airtime, thedistributors we spoke to thinks there are more womenthan male vendors, probably at a ratio of 65:35, and thatwomen really underpin the success of the MNO at theretailer level.Vodacom Foundation M-Pesa Women’sEmpowerment InitiativeIn July 2011, the Vodacom Foundation launched itsM-PESA Women’s Empowerment Initiative (MWEI). Underthis programme, women undergo entrepreneurshiptraining at a government parastatal office, the SmallIndustries Development Organisation (SIDO), in theirrespective regions. When they have completed theirtraining, they are able to access loans to kick-start theirbusinesses. Loans are issued and repaid via Vodacom’sM-Pesa Mobile Money service. So far around 90 millionTanzanian shillings (approximately USD54,000) in loanshave been issued to some 4,500 women entrepreneursacross Tanzania.They would have increased thesales volumes from the company’sperspective because they are ready forany work regardless of how small it is aslong as they have got some capital.Vodacom Distributor, TanzaniaIn addition to this financial support, according to thedistributor we spoke to, Vodacom is working with anNGO to train women on marketing skills and Vodacomproducts in order to bring them directly into thedistribution network of Vodacom. As the distributor hasexplained, the benefit to the company is obvious –improved sales volumes.Therefore, similar to the cases in India discussedpreviously, it is possible that what began as a CSRinitiative for Vodacom will develop into a self-sustaining,commercially viable proposition.‘‘‘‘‘‘ ‘‘‘‘ ‘‘
  • 24. 22Role of NGOsNGOs form a distribution channel for the MNO. TheNGOs concerned recognise the benefits of mobileconnectivity for their stakeholders and thereforesubsidise the provision of airtime or registrations.In addition to this basic model, there are other MNO–NGO partnerships which relate to more advancedmobile services. We spoke to Hillary Miller-Wise,Country Director of Technoserve Tanzania, aboutone such programme to understand the benefits andchallenges of working with MNOs for her organisation.Technoserve, Tigo and VodacomTechnoserve is currently working with Tigo and Vodacomto help develop mobile services for the agricultural sectoras part of a broader programmatic objective of helpingpromote entrepreneurship as a route out of poverty.The partnership between the NGO and MNOs isbeneficial for both parties – Technoserve is able to getaccess to innovative mobile technology and MNOs areable to access a new market.The mobile operators were looking forpartners that would help them to navigatethis sector since it is not a sector thatthey knowHillary Miller-Wise, TechnoserveThe main lesson that can be learnt from this examplestems from Technoserve’s simultaneous collaboration withtwo different MNOs. The MNOs compete for market share,whereas Technoserve simply wants to reach as manybeneficiaries as possible – at times this leads to difficultiesin the MNO–NGO relationship. This was not the case forUninor and HiH or Vodafone and ASP in India, suggestingthat, if the objective is to increase market reach, anexclusive MNO–NGO partnership might work better forboth parties.6.4 QatarPopulation 22848,016Mobile subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 23132.43Global Gender Gap Ranking (out of 135countries) 24111Country summaryQatar is a small market with wide disparities evident in its society. Ithas one of the highest GDP per capita in the world, mainly drivenby oil and gas revenues and large infrastructure projects. However,there are still sections of the population dependent on governmentsupport for housing, education and other basic services.Mobile market Key MNOsThe market remainsdominated by QatarTelecom (Qtel) which waspreviously the exclusivetelecom provider in Qatar.The market has beenliberalised by the issuing ofa second mobile license toVodafone in December 2007– although Qatari institutionsown the majority of thecompany.MNO Approx. share25QTel 78%Vodafone Qatar 22%Gender and governmentThe recently announced National Development Strategy26setsout a number of policies aimed at increasing the participation ofwomen in the labour force. At present, deeply entrenched culturaltraditions shape the roles women are able to play within society.Women are generally expected to mingle only with other womenand male family members, and to be confined to the home in theabsence of a male chaperon. Accordingly, participation in theMVC is difficult for local Qatari women. Initiatives have been putin place to promote women entrepreneurs – for example a teamfrom Carnegie Mellon University and the Qatar Financial Centre(Rhouda Foundation) has developed business incubator servicesspecially tailored to the needs of Qatari women.Overview of women and the MVCSince Qatar is a relatively small market, MNOs are oftencloser to vendors than in the other markets discussedin this study. For example, we spoke to a distributor forQtel which supplies the majority of the Qatari market.Qtel is heavily involved in the recruitment of distributionagents and the selection of retailers, sometimes evenparticipating in the recruitment interview process.We also talked to Vodafone which operates three mainsales channels – direct sales, immediate retail partnersand distributors. In addition, Vodafone has pioneereda unique all-women sales channel called Al Johara(‘Jewels’ or ‘Diamonds’).To go out in the open market and try andsell – it is very difficult. You have to be self-motivated. There is nobody to guide you.Distributor, QatarAccording to one distributor, their entire sales force ismale because they need to travel and meet differentretailers and suppliers. A few retail agents are women,but they form the minority. Despite the fact that womenare legally allowed to work in Qatar, due to culturalconsiderations, it is usually only expatriate women whohave any employment or business opportunities. It isin this context that Vodafone launched its Al Joharainitiative in August 2010.‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘
  • 25. 23The Al Johara InitiativeQatari women help Vodafone access the women’smarketAl Johara is an all-female network of sales agents whoare able to reach women consumers while continuing towork within the norms of Qatari society. As noted above,women in Qatar are usually unable to communicate orinteract easily with men outside of their family. Initially,Vodafone found it challenging to identify suitablecandidates for the programme. The pilot team wasformed through women’s community groups withVodafone taking extra care to ensure buy-in from maleheads of household.When women join, they are given a distinctive redsuitcase, a mobile phone, a variety of products(SIMs, airtime, handsets, etc.) and training on general‘personal development’, marketing techniques andrelevant products and services. Although they met withsome resistance at the beginning, the women are nowexpanding their businesses into the wider community.For example, one vendor recently closed a deal tosell 40 iPhones to graduates of the Qatari air force (incompetition with three other suppliers) – a market thatVodafone had not previously been able to penetrate.Benefits to participantsThe women have completely learnedto have confidence. They are all veryaccomplished sales people and haveaspirations for larger life goals.Susie Kelt, Vodafone QatarIn the context of Qatar’s society, the impact of the AlJohara programme has been wide ranging and lifechanging. The female vendors spoke of their pridein having their own businesses, the value they couldbring to their families and the transformative nature ofparticipating in the programme. Susie Kelt, who managesthe scheme, estimates that the success of the trainingwas 10% due to the acquisition of additional technicalskills and 90% due to their improved sense of self-worth.The female vendors are now able to leave their homes‘legitimately’ and are no longer expected to account forall their movements.Benefits for VodafoneVodafone expects to break even on its initial investmentin the new sales agents by mid-2012. After 12 months inoperation, the 21 initial vendors were creating around 550new connections per month, with a better churn rate thanaverage. However, it is not just about airtime and connections– the women have also sold over 1,200 handsets.According to Susie, the female vendors are excellentat connecting with customers; they are considered‘authentic’ and trustworthy. As well as being able topenetrate the women’s market, which is generally difficultto do, due to the restrictions on movement discussedabove, the women have also been very successful atselling to men. As a relatively new presence in Qatar,the Vodafone brand was initially viewed with suspicion,but according to Fatima Alneami, one of the femalevendors, this initiative has changed the perception. Bothword of mouth campaigns and publicity have helped topositively reposition the Vodafone brand in Qatar.Finally, as the women are deeply embedded in theircommunities, the vendors provide Vodafone with anideal ‘testing ground’ for new products and service ideas.The Al Johara group considers new concepts and ideasbefore launching the products, which helps Vodafoneto understand how to make products that are locallyrelevant.Lessons learnt•The women vendors are particularly motivated salespeople because this enables them to earn an incomeand contribute to the welfare of their family andchildren.•Thinking creatively about how to facilitateentrepreneurship within the constraints of a traditionalsociety can open up new markets.•Training should not primarily focus on the ‘technical’details of products, but on wider empowerment and‘life skills’ to build confidence in women sales agents toask for referrals and drive sales.•Obtaining the consent of male relatives is an importantfactor in achieving success.6.5 South AfricaPopulation 2749,004,031Mobile subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 28100.48Global Gender Gap Ranking (out of 135countries) 2914Country summarySouth Africa is the largest economy in Sub Saharan Africa withthe highest per capita income (over USD12,000). It currentlycontributes up to 38% of Sub Saharan Africa’s GDP. Nonetheless,the nation is still recovering from the effects of Apartheid. Over59% of the population still lives on less than one dollar a day, withSouth Africa ranking 110 out of 172 countries in the UNDP humandevelopment index (HDI) 2010. Job creation is a major goal of theSouth African government.Mobile market Key MNOsThe mobile ecosystem isvibrant and innovative, withone of the world’s mostdeveloped mobile marketingsectors and numerousexamples of local mobileinnovation such as the MXitmobile messaging and socialnetworking platform.MNO Approx. share30Vodafone 45%MTN 39%Cell C 14%Gender and governmentHistorically, women in South Africa have tended to work in thehousehold, rearing children, while men worked in mines oragriculture. However, recently, there has been progress in termsof gender equality, particularly in the public sector. For example,the Gender Equality Act was passed in 1996. Almost a third of theMembers of Parliament, nine Cabinet ministers and eight deputyministers in the government are women. In the private sector,however, the situation is less encouraging with fewer womenemployed at senior positions within companies. This is particularlythe case in the mobile sector according to a parliamentary officerwith the Commission for Gender Equality in South Africa (CGE-SA),which last year investigated the compliance of MNOs with theEmployment Equity Act and found that mobile companies werenot observing the provisions of the laws as they should.‘‘‘‘
  • 26. 24MNOs and womenWe spoke to Sue Kennedy, Cell C’s Executive Headof Sales and Distribution, to examine the level ofwomen’s involvement in their retail channels. In additionto franchisee stores, Cell C has two main distributionchannels – ‘formal’, where products are disseminatedto larger stores via a distributor, and informal, whereproducts move from a large wholesaler through up tofive layers before reaching the vendor at the end of thechain. Regarding the organisation as a whole (includingcontract and temporary staff), we were advised that46% of all employees are women compared to 54%men.Women generate more sales. This is drivenby the fact that women are homemakersand want to be the top sales agents in thecountry.Sue Kennedy, Cell CSue Kennedy estimated that around 80% of Cell C’ssales agents are women. In terms of sales agents, Sueestimated that around 80% are women. According toSue, women tend to be good salespeople because theyare highly motivated – in order to support their familiesand, in particular, their children. Cell C confirmed thatprogress had also been made towards gender equalityhigher up the retail chain and in other areas of theorganisation. Cell C has developed some specific CSRinitiatives with a gender focus which demonstrate themutual benefits that can occur when MNOs and NGOswork in partnership on these issues.Role of NGOsWe consulted Marthe Muller of South African Womenin Dialogue (SAWID) to understand their collaborationwith Cell C on an initiative to help promote women’sentrepreneurship. According to Marthe, governmentinitiatives have been put in place to improve women’semployment opportunities, but many women are stilllargely trapped in the unskilled labour force. Womenare mainly considered suitable for rather than beingable to take a retail role at the end of the value chain,rather than having the opportunity to take on a moreindependent and lucrative entrepreneurial role. Lackof training opportunities and geographical isolation arefactors contributing to this situation. Cell C and SAWID’s‘Women’s Incorporated (WINC)’ initiative attempts toaddress some of these issues.Nine billion rand are being pushed intoemployment opportunities, but women stillremain in the most unskilled sections of thelabour market.Marthe Muller, SAWIDIn 2009, Cell C provided mobile packages to around1,000 SAWID provincial coordinators, consisting of freeairtime; value-added services (VAS) and benefits (e.g.toll-free calls to advice lines, access to specific mobilewebsites with financial advice, health advice) and 100handsets. This programme helped the coordinatorsshare experiences, improve their skill sets and enhanceopportunities for entrepreneurship that went beyondbasic retail roles.The WINC programme is a CSR initiative, but accordingto Marthe, it has also had clear business benefits forCell C because it raised awareness of their brand at thegrassroots level and made Cell C a more competitivebrand in the area.‘‘‘‘‘‘‘‘
  • 27. 257. General Market OverviewWe introduced some general findings and conclusionsdrawn from the 11 countries at the beginning of thisreport and went on to highlight some of the mainfindings regarding the five key markets of India, thePhilippines, Tanzania, Qatar and South Africa. In thispenultimate section, we present brief analyses of theother six markets covered in this research to furtherillustrate the dynamics that exist between MNOs andwomen.7.1 IndonesiaIndonesia has one of the highest rates of mobilepenetration in the developing world. The MNO marketin Indonesia is highly competitive with Telkomselleading the market, followed by Indonsat, XL Axiataand numerous smaller players. According to Andy CiptaAsmawaty of the Solidaritas Perempuan NGO, around70% of traditional market traders are women – but thesituation in the MVC is rather different.Doni Prawata, head of Sales and Marketing atSelkomindo, a distributor for Telkomsel, estimates thatonly about 20–25% of retailers are women. Similarly,according to AXIS Indonesia, their employees and salesagents (both direct and indirect) are predominantlymen. Again, similar to the other markets we studied, thedistributors are also primarily men due to the amount oftravel required for the role.According to Doni Prawata, women sales agents arebetter at managing their outlets from both a financialand presentational perspective. Despite this, Telkomseldoes not currently have a specific initiative to bringmore women entrepreneurs into their own retailernetwork. The company does collaborate with anAssociation of Women Entrepreneurs on the SPIRITMillennium Development Goal’s (MDGs) Terintegrasiinitiative, which offers training on business skills andprovides access to technology to the beneficiaries of theprogramme. However, one of the smaller MNOs in themarket, RUMA, is part of an initiative to include womenin the MVC.The RUMA ProgrammeVPOs facilitate sales of airtime for multiple MNOsIn other markets most initiatives aimed at bringing womeninto the MVC comprise of a partnership between a singleMNO and an NGO. In Indonesia, an alternative modelexists: RUMA (Rekan Usaha MikroAnda – [Your Micro-Business Partner]).This initiative is run jointly by the Grameen Foundationin collaboration with Bakrie Telecom and Qualcomm’sWireless Reach Initiative. Bakrie provides the branding,marketing and training materials, log books and receiptbooks, while Qualcomm provides support in the areasof engineering and business development through itsWireless Reach Initiative.The programme provides a simple ‘package’ ofmaterials to VPOs, owners of phones, which can beused by different members of a community for a fee.Usually, vendors who wish to sell airtime in Indonesiamust purchase a minimum value (up to USD100) perMNO, which makes the business prohibitively expensivefor smaller players. RUMA helps the VPOs get around thisproblem by buying in bulk and then selling airtime tothe VPOs for only USD23. Then VPOs resell the airtime toconsumers in much smaller denominations via an e-top-up mechanism.In addition to this basic function, Grameen (via itsAppLab) also uses the basic mobile platform toprovide additional services to the entrepreneurs in theprogramme – for example, an SMS-based alert systemnotifying job seekers of local opportunities matching theirskill sets.As of August 2011, around 8,000 entrepreneurs (servinghundreds of thousands of customers) have taken partin the RUMA programme and approximately 85% arewomen. An estimated 47% of micro-entrepreneurs whotake part in the programme for more than four monthsare able to nearly double their income.7.2 BahrainWe spoke to Viva Bahrain about the role of women intheir retail networks. Since it is a small market, there areonly two layers in the distribution network – Viva itselfand a single distributor that supplies retailers. Overall,the company employs predominantly men – about 80%of their employees. However, more women tend to beemployed in Viva shops and call centres. None of themain MNOs in Bahrain are currently promoting women’sinclusion in their retail networks specifically, althoughViva Bahrain did support a more general womenentrepreneurship programme, Women Association forStarting Investment (WASI) in 2009.7.3 GhanaWe interviewed Stanley Okoh of Tigo Ghana to assessthe prevalence of women in Tigo’s retail network. Interms of direct employees, men make up around 70% ofthe Tigo workforce – but again, at the retail end, whichincludes Tigo cash and insurance agents, the majorityof approximately 90,000 direct and indirect retailers arewomen. Higher level distributors are mainly men dueto the nature of the work which involves long-distancetravel to more remote parts of the country.According to Stanley, Tigo monitors the performanceof its retailer networks on a qualitative basis. Theimpression they have is that women are better atcash management than men. We held focus groupsdiscussions amongst the women involved in the mobilebusiness itself and they corroborated these findings:they advised us that distributors actually make moreeffort to supply them with stock as compared to theirmale counterparts because they are more trustworthyand better at selling.Some women mentioned that they had been assisted instarting up their businesses by NGOs supplying creditfor the initial purchase of stock. Similarly to this Tigo isinvolved in a scheme to support poor rural women whohave migrated to Accra to take employment as porters.
  • 28. 26They provide health screening and mosquito nets aswell as support and training to help them increase anddiversify their income by taking up mobile retailing inaddition to manual labour.7.4 NigeriaNigeria is Africa’s most populous country and hasovertaken South Africa to become the continent’slargest mobile market with over 90 million subscribers.Nonetheless, penetration only stands at just over55%, indicating continuing growth potential – althoughthis lies mainly in rural areas which are relativelyexpensive to reach. MTN, Globacom and BhartiAirtelare the largest MNOs in the market, although there arenumerous smaller players including Etisalat and Mtel.We consulted MTN to gain a general overview oftheir retail network in Nigeria and the involvementof women therein. The majority of vendors arewomen (approximately 60%), where start-up capitalrequirements are low. Only 5,000 naria (N) (aroundUSD31) is needed to become a vendor. However,further up the value chain, men dominate, partlybecause of the resources required to operate as dealers– N20 million (around USD125,000) is needed to makea single order at this level along with a special permitfrom the Nigeria Communication Commission.We also spoke to a number of women involved inthe mobile trade, most of whom sell mobile productsas part of a range of other products in their existingbusiness ventures. As one would expect in a growingmobile market, many women entered the trade dueto customer demand. The women we spoke withmentioned the benefits of working with microfinanceinstitutions for obtaining concessional loans to start theirbusinesses, which are similar to the MTN Foundation’sand International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) RuralTelephone Project.MTN Foundation Rural Telephone ProjectVPO programmeWorking in partnership with the IFC and the GrowingBusiness Foundation, this project brings the IFC’s ‘VillagePhone’ model to the Nigerian market. Similar to theGrameen-supported RUMA programme in Indonesia, theproject offers rural entrepreneurs micro-loans and ‘starterpacks’ to help kick-start their mobile vending businesses– and offers MTN access to a relatively untapped ruralmarket.Under the scheme, the MTN Foundation providesbeneficiaries with recharge cards, a mobile phone, anantenna, a solar charger, MTN promotional materials(parasol umbrella, table, chair, banner etc.) and aweek’s training in basic business skills such as accounting,customer service etc.Rather than selling airtime to end users, in this instancethe vendor sells access to their own handset – it is inessence a ‘village phone’ accessible to anyone. Todate, 4,500 beneficiaries, predominantly women, haveparticipated in the project, increased their incomes andexpanded their business skills.7.5 Côte d’IvoireWe spoke with MTN and found that, similar to the otherAfrican markets covered by this study, men dominatehigher up the distribution network, while there is agreater proportion of women at the retail end. Womendo not have much capital and thus are limited in theirability to become strategic dealers. MTN does notcurrently have any specific initiatives geared towardspromoting women’s inclusion in the MVC, althoughthey do operate CSR initiatives – for example, througha partnership with the United Nations DevelopmentProgramme (UNDP) which is aimed at reducing femalepoverty in rural areas.317.6 UgandaThere is a mentality that women in Ugandaaren’t meant to work. They are supposed tosit at home and wait for their husbands, takecare of the children and the family.Sen Henry, Pride MicrofinanceIn Uganda, the mobile ecosystem is not as advancedas in neighbouring Kenya, although a number of brandshave nascent Mobile Money offerings (e.g. Airtel andUT). Vendors in the indirect channel tend to be women– around 70% is the estimate of one distributor wespoke to. However, the benefits of having predominantlywomen as sales agents were not recognised by onemajor MNO we consulted. The middle layers of thedistribution network also consist of mostly men. Wespoke to women vendors who explained that this wasbecause the entry costs were prohibitive and they wereunable to travel the long distances required by this role.‘‘‘‘
  • 29. 27However, Mobile Money services are providing newopportunities for women entrepreneurs in Uganda.One distributor we spoke to had been involved in aninitiative designed to increase the number of womenMobile Money agents. The project was successful ontwo fronts: more women are now involved as agentsand the distributor has also benefited through increasedrevenue. Similar to the other African markets coveredby this study, women vendors in the capital, Kampala,mainly use the income generated from mobile productsdirectly and are proud of their customer service skills.“My name is Susan Wagaba. I am a 26 year old, marriedwith three children. My husband is a carpenter and I runa small kiosk that mainly deals in [the] sale of airtimeand SIM cards. However, proceeds from this businessare barely enough to cater for my family’s needs so I runother side-businesses: I operate a payphone [and] sellphone cases and secondhand clothes to supplementmy income.It was easy for me to get into business since it did notrequire a lot of initial capital. For instance I did notrequire a shop to set up the business. All I needed wasa wooden box, a stool and 200,000 shillings (USD75) tobuy the airtime. My friend loaned me the money. Oneneeds strategy to succeed in this business. I buy from thebig distributors instead of small dealers to improve profitmargins.Being a woman I feel I am better placed than my malecounterparts in this business: we Ugandan women arevery humble towards men so they prefer buying from usthan from other male vendors. For instance, we usuallyscratch the cards for our customers which our mennormally don’t do. Men are the main buyers of airtimeso it is a big plus for us. The other thing is that womenare more trusted than men. In this era of fake voucherspeople will naturally prefer to deal with women ratherthan with men.Business does not come without challenges. My keyproblem is security. There are a lot of criminals in thisarea. Every evening I have to carry all my remainingstock and cash with me since it would be stolen if I left itbehind. One day the thieves waylaid me and took all myday’s earnings and my stock away. I am looking forwardto opening my own bank account and using MobileMoney to store my money safely so that thieves cannottake it.”
  • 30. 28We have documented that mobile operator-ledinitiatives which bring more women into the MVC arebeneficial, both to the participants and the MNOsinvolved. However, we have also found that there ishardly any literature available on this topic and thenumber of initiatives is limited and they are mostlyin their formative stages. There is certainly roomand scope for operators to do more in this respect tointegrate women entrepreneurs not only at the end ofthe retail chain, but to ensure that women are able toparticipate in the higher levels of the value chain wheremargins are much higher, training opportunities betterand working conditions safer.As demonstrated across the African case studies,already a high proportion of small-scale mobile vendorsin the mobile retail chain are women, but they are notable to register their businesses, scale them up orparticipate in the higher levels of the value chain – forexample, as distributors.Based on the findings of this study, we present belowour key recommendations for the implementation offuture programmes – either by MNOs independently orin conjunction with other stakeholders or by others withan interest in promoting women’s entrepreneurship indeveloping and emerging markets.MNOs and distributors – collect statistics to build abusiness caseThroughout this study we heard numerous accountsfrom distributors, vendors and other stakeholdershighlighting the benefits of women sales agents, butreliable statistics on this subject were hard to comeby. Nevertheless, this type of data is critical whenbuilding an internal business case. We therefore wishto encourage MNOs and distributors to start collectingdata on the performance of their retail agents from agender perspective.Help women vendors to scale up and generate bettermarginsMany women are already involved in the MVC in Africa,but they generally tend to operate micro-businesses,frequently lacking the capital to expand. For somethe small scale and convenience is a benefit, but forthose who wish to grow their business, there are verylimited opportunities. Training programmes should bedeveloped for these women that incorporate businesstraining, access to capital and confidence buildingmeasures. Governments, NGOs and MNOs themselvescan work to address these needs.Form multi-stakeholder partnershipsThe case of Sanchar Shakti in India provides anexcellent example of a variety of different entities(local and national government, NGOs, SHGs, MNOs,content providers) coming together in a programmeaimed at supporting women’s economic empowerment.While coordination between the many parties may bechallenging, the results could not be achieved by anyone sector on its own. In addition and on a smallerscale, MNO–NGO collaboration in a joint programmecan bring about significant results in terms of tangibleeconomic opportunities for women and increased salesfor the operator.8. Conclusions
  • 31. 29Appendix A: Index of Case StudiesThis report is based on an analysis of a wide range of data sources, interviews,marketing materials and other documents across 11 different markets. As part ofthis analysis, we discussed various specific initiatives where mobile operators haveincluded women in their retail networks in a targeted way. For ease of reference, theyare listed here along with a reference to the location of the detailed case study.Initiative Country Brief Description PageTrader Project Anonymised1Pilot project intended to raise awareness of MNObrand and to communicate its benefits in order topenetrate a new market.11The Sanchar ShaktiProgrammeIndia Partnership between Vodafone and ASP (an NGO)under the aegis of the government’s SancharShakti programme, which trains women tobecome Vodafone retailers.17HiH/Uninor Project India Partnership between Uninor and HiH (an NGO)which has created an all-female distributionchannel for Uninor using the network of HiH ‘citizencentres’.18Hapinoy Stores Philippines MNO Smart, working with a local social enterpriseand microfinance institution has created anetwork of Hapinoy stores enabling penetration ofthe BoP market.20M-Pesa Women’sEmpowermentInitiativeTanzania Vodacom Foundation works with localgovernment to provide female entrepreneurs withmarketing and product training as well as loans tokick-start their businesses.21Technoserve, Tigo andVodacomTanzania Technoserve is working with Tigo and Vodacom tohelp develop mobile services for the agriculturalsector as part of a broader programmaticobjective of helping promote entrepreneurship asa route out of poverty.22The Al Johara Initiative Qatar 100% Qatari female channel created byVodafone Qatar which has facilitated entry intothe previously hard to access female market.23The Ruma Programme Indonesia Working with the Grameen Foundation andQualcomm, provides female entrepreneurs witha starter pack and training to become ‘villagephone operators’.25MTN Foundation RuralTelephone ProjectNigeria Takes the World Bank (IFC)’s successful ‘villagephone’ model to the Nigerian market, providingentrepreneurs with training and initial micro-loansto enable them to start a business.26Appendix B: Index of Pen PortraitsIn order to get an in-depth appreciation of the experience of the women involved inthe MVC, we carried out focus group discussions with women in eight of the countriescovered in this study.32From our discussions with these women, we created ‘penportraits’ drawn from the real-life experiences of the entrepreneurs whom we spoketo. These portraits encapsulate the experiences of working as women retailers ofmobile products in a selection of the markets covered.Name Country Brief Description PagePavitra India Runs a general store with her husband andbegan stocking mobile products due to customerdemand.16Sherly Philippines Operates a loading station alongside a food stallbusiness, focused on electronic top-ups.19Marion Tanzania Works in a small ‘one stop shop’ offering a varietyof mobile products including M-Pesa.20Susan Uganda Has a kiosk in a taxi park selling mobile productsalongside a payphone.27
  • 32. 30Research Summary and Geographical CoverageName Desk researchFocus Group Discussions: InterviewsWomen Men MNOs Government NGOs DistributorsIndonesia Yes 1 1 2 1India Yes 3 1 2 1 1 1South Africa Yes 1 2 1 1Philippines Yes 3 1 1 1 2 1Qatar Yes 1 1 1 1 1 2Tanzania Yes 3 1 1 1 1 2Uganda Yes 2 1 1 1 2Bahrain Yes 1Ghana Yes 1 1 1Nigeria Yes 1 1Côte d’Ivoire Yes 1
  • 33. 31Selected BibliographyGeneralAsian Development Bank (2006) Making Value Chains Work Better for the Poor:A Tool Book for Practitioners of Value Chain Analysis, Manila.Barnes, S. (2002) The Mobile Commerce Value Chain: Analysis and FutureDevelopments, International Journal of Information Management (Vol.22).CISCO (2007) Retail Entrepreneurs Create an Empowering Identity for Women inBusiness, Customer Case Study.Coursaris, C., Hassanein, K. and Head, M. (2008) Mobile Technology and the ValueChain: Participants, Activities and Value Creation, Int. Journal of Business Scienceand Applied Management (Vol.3).Gereffi, G. and Memedovic, O. (2003) The Global Apparel Value Chain: WhatProspects for Upgrading by Developing Countries, UNIDO.GSMA Development Fund and Cherie Blair Foundation for Women (2010) Womenand Mobile a Global Opportunity, London.Humphrey, J. and Navas-Alemán, L. (2010) Value Chains, Donor Interventions andPoverty Reduction: A Review of Donor Practice, IDS Research Report.Levy, M. (2011) The Limited Impact of ICTs on Microenterprise Growth: A Study ofBusinesses Owned by Women in Urban India, University of Michigan.Mitchell, J., Coles, C. and Keane, J. (2009) Trading up: How a Value Chain ApproachCan Benefit the Rural Poor, Overseas Development Institute.OECD Secretariat (2000) Increasing Women Entrepreneurs’ Participation inInternational Trade and the Global Economy, OECD Workshop No.2.Peppard, J. (2006) From Value Chain to Value Network: Insights for MobileOperators, European Management Journal (Vol.24).Pfitzer, M. and Krishnaswamy, R. (2007) The Role of the Food and Beverage Sectorin Expanding Economic Opportunity, FAO.Seville, D., Buxton, A. and Vorley, B. (2010) Under What Conditions are Value ChainsEffective Tools for Pro-Poor Development, International Institute for Environment andDevelopment.USAID (2008) Finance in Value Chain Analysis – a Synthesis Paper, microReport#132.World Bank (2012) World Development Report on Gender Equality and Development,Washington, D.C.IndiaBehtar Z. (2011) [online], at: [Accessed online on 26th of October 2011].Government of India, Ministry of Communications & IT, Department ofTelecommunications, Office of the Administrator (2010) MOU for Pilot Schemefor Provision of Mobile Value Added Services to Rural SHGs, Universal ServiceObligation Fund. Available at: [Accessed online on 26th ofOctober 2011].Governance Knowledge Centre (2011) Sanchar Shakti Scheme for Rural Women, at: [Accessed online on 26th of October2011].GSMA mWomen Programme (2011) Mera Mobile, Mera Sathi Campaign, at: [Accessed online on 26th ofOctober 2011].Hand in Hand India (2011) at: [Accessed online on 26th ofOctober 2011].Know Your Mobile India (2011) Vodafone Partners with DOT for ‘Sanchar Shakti’,Available at: [Accessed online on 26th of October 2011].Microfinance Focus (2011) ESAF Selected in Scheme for Mobile Value AddedService, Microfinance Focus at: [Accessed online on 26thof October 2011].Mobigyaan India (2011) Uninor Launches ‘Soochna Shakti’, a Value Added Serviceto Empower Rural Women at: [Accessed online on 26th ofOctober 2011] (2011) Top 10 Mobile Service Providers in India, at: [Accessed online on 26th of October 2011].Sasken (2011) President Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil Launches Sasken’sVyapaarSEWA as part of DoT-USOF Sanchar Shakti, at: [Accessed online on 26th of October 2011].Satyendra, S. (2003) Rural Women Go Mobile With a ‘Theli’ Phone, The EconomicTimes, at: [Accessed online on 26th of October 2011].SEWA (2009) at: [Accessed online on 26th of October 2011].Tata Teleservices, at: [Accessed online on 26th ofOctober 2011].Ulbricht, M. (2011) Mobiles for Women, Part 1: The Good,, at: [Accessed online on 26th ofOctober 2011].Universal Service Obligation Fund (2011) Sanchar Shakti, at: [Accessed online on 26th of October 2011].
  • 34. 32The PhilippinesNegros Women for Tomorrow Foundation (2010) Annual Report, at: [Accessed online on 26th of October 2011].Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation (2011) at: [Accessed onlineon 26th of October 2011].Smart Communications (2011) HAPINOY – Enabling 4,000 Micro-Entrepreneurs, at: [Accessed online on 26th of October 2011].Smart Communications (2008) Mobile-Enabled Loan Collection, at: [Accessed online on 26th of October 2011].TanzaniaVodacom Foundation (2011) at:[Accessed online on 26th of October 2011].Vodacom Foundation (2011) Vodacom Tanzania launches Women EmpowermentInitiative, [Accessed online on 26th of October 2011].Vodacom Group (2008) Sustainability Report, at:[Accessed online on 26th of October 2011].Vodacom Tanzania (2011) [Accessed online on 26thof October 2011].QatarGSMA mWomen (2011) Case Study: Vodafone’s Qatar Al Johara: Empowermentthrough Entrepreneurship, at: [Accessedonline on 26th of October 2011].Vodafone Qatar (2011) Vodafone Introduces Al Johara Women’s Sales Channel, at: [Accessed online on 26th of October 2011].Vodafone Qatar (2011) Vodafone Qatar Announces Q1 Financial Results, at: [Accessed online on 26th of October 2011].South AfricaAfrica and Middle East Telecom Week (2011) South Africa: Major African MobileMarkets: Future Growth Prospects 2006 – 2011, [online].at: [Accessed online on 26th of October 2011].Cell C (2011) Early Detection Saves Lives: Cell C Has Joined the Fight AgainstBreast Cancer with PinkDrive, at:[Accessed online on 26th of October 2011].Cell C (2011) Take a Girl Child to Work, at: [Accessed online on 26th of October 2011].Rao, M. (2010) Rise of the Creative Economy, Africa Report, at [Accessed online on 26th of October 2011].South Africa Department of Trade and Industry (2011) “DTI Women”, Available at: [Accessed online on 26th of October 2011].Vision Spring (2011) at: [Accessed online on 26th ofOctober 2011].VodaWorld Online (2011) Women are Doing IT, at: [Accessed online on 26th of October 2011].Other marketsAfrica Research Bulletin (2007) Nigeria: Investment in Leading Bank, Economic,Financial & Technical Series, at: [Accessed online on 26thof October 2011].Nigeria Daily News (2010) MTN Nigeria to spend N2bn on social responsibility, at: [Accessed online on 26th of October 2011].Business Monitor International (2011) Ghana Telecommunications Report – Q4 2011,at: [Accessed online on 26th of October 2011].Grameen Foundation (2011) Mobile Microfranchising, at: [Accessedonline on 26th of October 2011].MTN Group (2011) at:[Accessed online on 26th of October 2011].MTN Foundation (2011) Economic Empowerment, at:[Accessed online on 26th of October 2011].MTN Group (2001) Hoover’s Company Records at:[Accessed online on 26th of October 2011].Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach Initiative (2011) Case Study: Indonesia: Village PhoneOperator and Application Laboratory Initiatives Give Entrepreneurs New Tools forSuccess, at: [Accessed online on 26th of October 2011].RUMA (2011) The 1 Minute Pitch, at: [Accessedonline on 26th of October 2011].
  • 35. 331. This report is made possible by the generous support of the American people throughthe United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are theresponsibility of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and do not necessarily reflect theviews of USAID or the United States Government.2. Average across the Philippines, Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, India andSouth Africa according to representatives of MNOs we consulted.3. This qualitative finding was validated by data supplied by a large Indian MNO: based onapproximately 2,000 stores which, assuming 3 staff per store, equates to 4,000 male and2,000 female sales agents. ‘High productivity’ agents are defined by the MNO as thosewho process customer enquiries rapidly and efficiently.4. India, South Africa, the Philippines, Qatar, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana and Nigeria.5. 2012, World Development Report on Gender Equality and Development, World Bank,Available at: [Accessed online on 26th of October2011].6. The monthly income figures are based upon estimates by women vendors we consultedin the Philippines and Tanzania. In Tanzania, we were told that the approximate monthlyincome ranges from USD42 to USD298 depending on the location of the outlet. In thePhilippines, vendors estimated incomes to be approximately USD69 from scratch cardsales and around USD139 when also including Mobile Money transfers.7. While we have taken care to present the latest figures on each market included in the study, the mobile industry is an extremely dynamic space and it is possible that some of the facts/statistics may have become altered by the time this report goes to print.8. CIA, 2011, The World Factbook, South Asia: India, available online: https://www.cia. gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/in.html [Accessed online on 26th ofOctober 2011].9. International Telecommunications Union, 2011, Statistics and Databases, availableonline: [Accessed online on 26th ofOctober 2011].10. Hausmann. R, Tyson. L.D. and Zahidi, S., 2011, Global Gender Gap Report 2011, WorldEconomic Forum.11. 2011, Mobile Life, Available at: [Accessed online on 26th ofOctober 2011].12. Further details of Sanchar Shakti available here: [Accessed online on 26th ofOctober 2011].13. CIA, 2011, The World Factbook, East & Southeast Asia: Philippines, available at: [Accessed online on26th of October 2011].14. International Telecommunications Union, 2011, Statistics and Databases, availableonline: [Accessed online on 26th ofOctober 2011].15. Hausmann. R, Tyson. L.D. and Zahidi, S., 2011, Global Gender Gap Report 2011, WorldEconomic Forum.16. 2011, Mobile Life, Available at: [Accessed online on 26th ofOctober 2011].17. CIA, 2011, The World Factbook, Africa: Tanzania, available at: [Accessed online on 26th of October 2011].18. International Telecommunications Union, 2011, Statistics and Databases, available at: [Accessed online on 26th of October2011].19. Hausmann. R, Tyson. L.D. and Zahidi, S., 2011, Global Gender Gap Report 2011, WorldEconomic Forum.20. Almazan, M. and Rotman, S., 2010, “Count them…4 mobile money services nowlive in Tanzania”, CGAP, Available at: [Accessed online on26th of October 2011].21. Official Online Gateway of the Republic of Tanzania, accessed 2011, Gender, availableat: [Accessed online on 26th of October 2011].22. CIA, 2011, The World Factbook, Middle East: Qatar, available at: [Accessed online on 26th of October2011].23. International Telecommunications Union, 2011, Statistics and Databases, available at: [Accessed online on 26th of October2011].24. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 2010, Human Development Report:Gender Inequality Index (GII), available at: Accessedonline on 26th of October 2011].25. 2011, Wireless Intelligence, Available at: [Accessed online on 26th ofOctober 2011].26. Qatar General Secretariat for Development Planning, 2011, Qatar National DevelopmentStrategy 2011-2016, available online [Accessed online on 26th of October 2011].27. CIA, 2011, The World Factbook, Africa: South Africa, available online: [Accessed online on 26th ofOctober 2011].28. International Telecommunications Union, 2011, Statistics and Databases, available at: [Accessed online on 26th of October2011].29. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), 2010, Human Development Report:Gender Inequality Index (GII), available at: [Accessedonline on 26th of October 2011].30. 2011, Mobile Life, Available at: [Accessed online on 26th ofOctober 2011].31. 2011, “Côte d’Ivoire: UN Launches Phone-Based Scheme to Help Poor Buy Food”,, Available at: [Accessed online on 26th of October 2011].32. India, South Africa, the Philippines, Qatar, Tanzania, Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria.Endnotes
  • 36. 2Cherie Blair Foundation for WomenPO Box 60519, London W2 7JURegistered Charity No.1125751Registered Office:66 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3LH+44 (0)20 7563© Cherie Blair Foundation for Women 2011MRC-V1.0About the Cherie Blair Foundationfor Women:The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women provides womenwith the skills, technology, networks and access to financethey need to become successful small and growingbusiness owners, so that they can contribute to theireconomies and have a stronger voice in their societies.www.cherieblairfoundation.orgAbout Saudi Telecom Company (STC):The Saudi Telecommunication Group provides integratedmobile, fixed and broadband communications servicesto over 142 million subscribers in 10 markets includingSaudi Arabia. Headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia,STC is the largest telecommunications company bymarket capitalisation, total revenue and number ofemployees in the Arab State TNS RMS:TNS RMS is a leading research organisation in Africa,with 20% market share and employees with hands-onexperience in Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Côted’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and South Africa. TNS RMS ispart of TNS Global, the world’s largest Custom MarketResearch