Inspiration for Smartphones4good
Did you know that only little bit over 30% of Africans have a smartphone? Women entrepreneurs spend 90% of their income to support their families and communities for education, health and nutrition (unfortunately men spend only 30-40% of their income on their loved ones) - a smartphone and internet may cost up to 20% of monthly income making it impossibly expensive.
We have been solving the problem of affordable smartphones in Nigeria, Zambia and Kenya for past 3+ years. As the Corona stopped our work there we decided to do something novel. We bridge ecologically the abundance of phones in Europe with those in need in Africa.
What it does
We make it super easy for people to donate a smartphone for a good cause. Old smartphones receive a new life without actually transporting them to another country. We sell them and use the sales to finance phones to women entrepreneurs in Africa.
How we built it
We built a woocommerce based online shop to sell the phones. Because of our partnerships in Africa we already have groups of women entrepreneurs wait for phones in Cameroon, Kenya and Rwanda. As we are live with our service in Zambia and Nigeria, those would follow. Our homebase in Africa is now in Windhoek, thus Namibia as well.
Challenges we ran into
Main challenge has been so far on mapping the user journey and getting accepted to respectable bank's electronic payment gateway. Also with little resources sometimes we burn a bit too much midnight oil...
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Although the effort to receive donations only started week ago at #hackthecrisissweden we already have been able to post the first phones donated to us. And and our web store is live!
What we learned
In short period of time one can get amazing people to support and find people in hackathons who understand that systemic change starts with women entrepreneurs digital and financial inclusion.
What's next for Smartphones4good
We need help 1) with improving the business flow and 2) the donor onboarding and submitting device for donation data (form) and 3) strategic positioning and the marketing message as a business for good, 4) Logistics partnerships in Finland, Sweden, Norway (other countries?) to ensure that the phones are shipped from seller/donor to the buyer as easily as possible. 5) Help us in marketing strategy > We need to sell the 2nd hand phones!
The Africa side is already there.
How can you help?
Join our survey It would help us tremendously to uncover more about motives and how people would be willing to do phone donations.