Social Impact Project for Micro Franchisee Training and Assessment for Low Income Settings
Project Description and Impact
Founded in 2013, African Renewable Energy Distributor (ARED) is a hard-tech as a service company (HAAS) based in Rwanda and Uganda. We have developed a 'business in a box' solar kiosk, app and software platform that empowers mostly women and people with disabilities using a micro franchise business model. The solar powered kiosk offers key services such as:
- internet WIFI
- intranet solutions for offline users (Internet is not always available, especially if you run out of money on your phone. However, around the kiosks, you can still get WiFi without being connected to the internet and use some of the services offline.
- phone charging services.
With their app, they offer additional services such as:
- Airtime (airtime is mobile money. Most of African communication works on a pay-as-you-go system. So you charge money onto your phone number and afterward, you can use it. Our kiosks sell small vouchers that you can buy in order to charge money onto your phone. Money on the phone is called airtime. No airtime means that people can call you (which is for free) but you can neither call somebody or use the internet.
- Mobile money (a mobile payments system based on accounts held by a mobile operator and accessible from subscribers’ mobile phones. The conversion of cash into electronic value (and vice versa) happens at retail stores (or agents). All transactions are authorized and recorded in real-time using SMS.)
- Prepaid electricity for people's homes
- Tax payment services to create a one-stop shop center for our customers.
The solar kiosks are operated by independent franchisees who participate in entrepreneurship training beforehand to improve their skills in running their own micro- business.
By participating in the MovingWorlds Institute, you will first learn social impact frameworks and human-centered design before putting your existing skills and new knowledge to action.In addition, this organization will expose you to new things, like:
- Realities of small scale business in developing regions
- The mindset challenges for low-income people
- How to better fight poverty
- The use of technology in the fight against poverty