By Dee-Dee Atta (Service Provider Marketing Manager, Cisco)
Access to global financial resources for entrepreneurs seeking loans to help develop rural economies in Kenya has proven to be difficult and expensive. However, Service Providers offer the Mobile Internet platform that connects previously unconnected rural Kenyans, bringing access to mobile banking and other global financial options; people and loan accessibility are brought together through the mobile internet platform. As a result, Kenyans in rural communities are now empowered to create new business opportunities and ecosystems with Service Provider mobile services as the conduit.
Service Providers play a key role in connecting people in previously unconnected areas. By enabling access to mobile banking and financing options through the Mobile Internet, Service Providers are connecting more people to resources and information than ever before. By bringing these mobile experiences to life, Service Providers are helping to build the economy of developing countries.
In the heavily populated country of Kenya, 79 percent (source: Rural Poverty Portal) or approximately 34.7 million people are considered rural. For this large rural population, it’s very expensive to gain access to loans to build and create businesses. Financial institutions are moving toward offering services via mobile technology; with 75% of banking products now accessible over a mobile phone. Service Providers bring the Mobile Internet platform which supports new applications to be accessible through mobile devices. One such application is Kiva Zip Kenya. Kiva Zip Kenya is a micro-lending service that utilizes mobile money transfer technology to connect lenders and borrowers through an SMS based banking system. Through mobile banking technology individuals around the world can lend to Kenyan entrepreneurs who are outside the reach of microfinance institutions and banks. The Cisco Visual Networking Index 2012-2017 forecasts that mobile data traffic in Middle East and Africa will grow 17-fold over the period, a compound annual growth rate of 77%.
By connecting Kenyans to investors from all over the globe, Service Providers are opening the door for the Internet of Everything (IoE) to make these networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before. Through Service Providers offering micro-lending connections between people and applications such as KivaZip Kenya, citizens are able to take advantage of new business opportunities while improving quality of life for themselves and their communities. This is just one way the Internet of Everything is helping to build new economies.
Read Kiva Zip’s full story submission here Follow Kiva on Twitter @kiva
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