Information Economy Report 2010: ICTs, Enterprises and Poverty Alleviation

Posted by MarkWeingarten on Mar 09, 2011
Information Economy Report 2010: ICTs, Enterprises and Poverty Alleviation data sheet 953 Views
Fredriksson, Torbjörn, Cécile Barayre, Scarlett Fondeur Gil, Diana Korka, Rémi Lang, Anvar Nigmatov, Malorie Schaus, Mongi Hamdi, and Anne Miroux
ISSN/ISBN Number: 
Publication Type: 
Report/White paper
Publication Date: 
Jan 2010

The world is witnessing a new dawn with regard to the potential of information and communication technologies (ICTs) to contribute in the fight against poverty. For the first time, there are now realistic opportunities for inhabitants of remote locations in low-income countries to get connected via ICTs. Farmers, fishermen as well as entrepreneurs in urban areas are rapidly adopting mobile phones as a key tool to advance their commercial activities, and some poor people are finding new livelihoods on the back of this trend. Against this background, the Information Economy Report 2010 focuses on the nexus of ICTs, enterprises and poverty alleviation. Whereas the knowledge base needs to grow considerably, the evidence presented in this Report suggests that more attention should be given by policymakers and other stakeholders to this new set of opportunities.

The Report is organized into five chapters. Chapter I introduces a conceptual framework for the analysis that follows. Chapter II reviews recent connectivity and affordability trends to gauge the degree of access and uptake of different ICTs among the poor. Chapter III turns to the role of the poor in the production of ICT goods and services (the ICT sector). In chapter IV, the focus shifts to the use of ICT by enterprises, with emphasis on those that matter most for poor people, namely small and micro-enterprises in urban and rural areas. Finally, chapter V presents the main policy implications from the analysis.

The Impact of Mobile Telephony of Developing Country Micro-Enterprise: A Nigerian Case Study

Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Sep 03, 2009
The Impact of Mobile Telephony of Developing Country Micro-Enterprise: A Nigerian Case Study data sheet 1687 Views
Abi Jagun, Richard Heeks, Jason Whalley
Publication Type: 
Journal article
Publication Date: 
Nov 2008

Informational challenges—absence, uncertainty, asymmetry—shape the working of markets and commerce in many developing countries. For developing country micro-enterprises, which form the bulk of all enterprises worldwide, these challenges shape the characteristics of their supply chains. They reduce the chances that business and trade will emerge. They keep supply chains localized and intermediated. They make trade within those supply chains slow, costly, and risky.

Mobile telephony may provide an opportunity to address the informational challenges and, hence, to alter the characteristics of trade within micro-enterprise supply chains. However, mobile telephony has only recently penetrated.

This paper, therefore, presents one of the first case studies of the impact of mobile telephony on the numerically-dominant form of enterprise, based around a case study of the cloth-weaving sector in Nigeria. It finds that there are ways in which costs and risks are being reduced and time is saved, often by substitution of journeys.

But it also finds a continuing need for journeys and physical meetings due to issues of trust, design, intensity, physical inspection and exchange, and interaction complexity. As a result, there are few signs of the de-localization or disintermediation predicted by some commentators. An economizing effect of mobile phones on supply chain processes may therefore co-exist with the entrenchment of supply chain structures and a growing “competitive divide” between those with and without access to mobile telephony.


Posted by AnneryanHeatwole on Aug 24, 2009
Frogtek data sheet 2512 Views
Organization that developed the Tool: 
Main Contact: 
David del Ser
Problem or Need: 

The "mom-and-pop" shops that dot every street in Latin America and the rest of the developing world, despite selling well over 500 different items, typically don't keep any accounts because it is very time consuming to do so with pen and paper and they can't afford a full-blown PC system.

As a result, most of these businesses don't know their break-even sales point, cannot analyze an investment opportunity or their cost structure, can't trust family outsiders as employees, don't optimize their inventory or purchasing decisions, find it daunting to take out a loan and in general have a severe lack of clarity on the business status. All these combine to keep the micro-retailers operating in a sub-optimal manner, reducing their profits and limiting their growth.

Main Contact Email : 
Brief Description: 

Frogtek is an accounting and inventory management tool for small shopkeepers in the developing world. It runs on Android phones and connects to our servers for backup and business advice. The applications will be installed on phones which will then be distributed locally and financed by Microfinance Institutions. In addition, Frogtek will offer an internet-based service to provide the micro-entrepreneur with real-time reporting, analysis, and personalized recommendations to improve business and increase profits.

Tool Category: 
Runs on a mobile phone
Key Features : 

Touchscreen interface to register transactions. Camera phone for barcode reading. Accounts are synchronized with server.

Main Services: 
Tool Maturity: 
Under development/pre-launch
Current Version: 
Program/Code Language: 
Number of Current End Users: 
None/not deployed yet
Number of current beneficiaries: 
Under 100
Languages supported: 
Spanish, English
Handsets/devices supported: 
All Android phones
Is the Tool's Code Available?: 
Is an API available to interface with your tool?: 
Global Regions: