GSMA mWomen BOP Apps Challenge Winners Announced

February 15, 2011 | Connected Women | Global | Global | Julia Burchell

The GSMA mWomen Programme today announced the winners of the GSMA mWomen BOP (Base of the Pyramid) Apps Challenge, sponsored by Vodafone, at the Global Mobile Awards at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. NextDrop, an application spreading information about the location of water, won in the feature phone tier and Frogtek’s TiendaTek, an application to improve the efficiency and accuracy of shopkeepers’ accounts, gained most votes in the smartphone tier.

This GSMA mWomen BOP (Base of the Pyramid) Apps Challenge aimed to leverage the significant demand for innovative App design and provide original and fresh customised App solutions targeted at the specific needs of women in developing countries.

For example, the majority of micro-enterprises in Latin America are run by savvy businesswomen; however often their efficiency is limited due to lack of access to education. TiendaTek uses an Android smart phone and a barcode reader to enable a businesswoman to keep track of all the transactions in her shop and identify the areas for improvement. She can also receive education, connect to her suppliers and sell virtual goods, such as mobile pre-paid airtime and micro-insurance. In turn, she can generate more income from her shop and save time.

The NextDrop application improves women’s access to water. In many areas of the developing world, water is only available through pipes for a few hours at a time. The NextDrop application sources information about local piped water delivery from the water consumers themselves. By providing incentives in the form of micro-payments, women with mobile phones can send a text message to the system when the water begins to flow in their locality. Information is verified by comparing inputs from multiple users in the same geographic area, and then the app pushes announcements to other subscribers in the same locality.

Sarah Crampsie, mWomen Programme Manager, said: ‘We were extremely pleased by both the number and high quality of the entries we received. NextDrop and TiendaTek are worthy winners, and we hope that this challenge has sparked developers on to produce apps tailored to the wants and needs of women at the base of the pyramid.’

Ari Olmos, NextDrop, said, ‘We are thrilled to be recognized with this important award! Hundreds of millions of people live with intermittent piped water in cities throughout the developing world. Women, in particular, lose immense amounts of time waiting for water. We will use this award to take NextDrop forward and reach more families with timely, accurate water availability information.’

Guillermo Caudevilla, FrogTek, said, ‘We are really happy and believe the prize will be a huge boost at a time when we’re starting our deployments in México and Colombia. This year is going to be key for our project and we can’t imagine starting it in a better way. Thanks!’

The prizes for each of the winners of the GSMA mWomen BOP Apps Challenge included US$10,000, cash prize provided by Vodafone; entrance for one team member of each winning tier to collect their prize at GSMA Mobile World Congress 2011, as well as flight and accommodation; the opportunity to showcase the winning App at the mWomen Closing the Gender Gap at GSMA Mobile World Congress; exclusive access to frog design, a leading innovation and design company and Carmel Ventures, a leading venture capital firm.

Watch interviews with the winners below:

For more information on the winning Apps, click on the links below:

NextDrop TiendaTek

You can also click here to learn more about all entrants, including the rest of the finalists:

Feature Phone Tier Finalists

  • Asha Assist
  • Contact Connect with IOU
  • Self-Help Group Tracker
  • SwAnAlert

Smart Phone Finalists

  • EKTA
  • Menstrual Cycle Application (MCA)
  • Open Pages, Open Doors
  • Wings

 

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