Africa 118 has been awarded a grant as part of the GSMA Innovation Fund for Mobile Internet Adoption and Digital Inclusion, which is funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft fȕr Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the GSMA and its members.
The Fund aims to increase mobile internet adoption and usage for the underserved not currently able to use mobile internet services.
Less than 10% of Ethiopian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have a digital presence. There is a lack of efficient and effective solutions for SMEs, and the solutions that do exist are often too complex and expensive. What’s more, many SMEs lack the digital skills and expertise required to build and manage their online presence.
Africa 118 was founded in 2010 to solve a critical information gap: 85% of mobile customers surveyed in a major African city claimed to have difficulty finding accurate information for the local businesses and services they were looking for. Furthermore, less than 5% of the businesses surveyed had any online presence making it difficult for them to be found. Africa 118 has developed world-class solutions for both consumers and local businesses to solve these problems.
Africa 118 will provide an affordable Mobile Digital Starter Pack to Ethiopian SMEs to help them to build a strong digital presence and grow their business. Through this project, Africa 118 aim to connect 10,000 SMEs to the internet, providing them with an online presence on Google and Facebook, as well as eCommerce and mobile payment integration, plus in-person training. At $100 per year, the Mobile Digital Starter Pack is less than half the cost of a comparable solution and 118 Africa will offer the option to pay monthly to make this solution available to as many SMEs as possible.
“For an SME, having an digital presence is as important as having a telephone number. Consumers are looking for businesses online – any business who is missing, risks becoming obsolete. Who, today, could operate without a telephone number?”
– Ezana Raswork, Founder and CEO, Africa 118