Intro

The team of entrepreneurs behind Aftarobot, a mobile phone app, has set out to revolutionize transportation in South Africa. Aftarobot links commuters and collective taxis, promising to slash hours off the average commute. 

The app is a result of infoDev's Mobile Innovation Program, which enables entrepreneurship in the mobile industry through venture incubation and acceleration. Aftarobot was developed at mLab South Africa.

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Highlights

15 March 2014

Two women are making a name for themselves in Senegal

This article is also available in French.

Last week was International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. Each year, the World Bank recognizes women who have made an impact in their communities. This year two of our young Senegalese entreprenuer women caught the World Bank’s attention for their innovative thinking.

28 February 2014

Mobile Startup Camp alumna makes her debut at the World Bank

Kate Mahugu, cofounder of Shopsoko made quite an impression when she was in Washington, DC for our 2013 Mobile Startup Camp. She not only impressed infoDev but has caught the attention of global corporations and well-established organizations. There's no stopping her as she's determined to let others know about local artisans in developing countries. 

25 February 2014

infoDev Annual Report 2012-2013

infoDev’s latest Annual Report highlights all the projects and activities implemented to support the high-growth oriented entrepreneur and the innovative enterprise. These are the ones who can scale up, create jobs, and positively impact their communities. Thanks to generous donor contributions and effective collaboration with the World Bank Group, over the past two years, infoDev has seen a tremendous expansion in operations, into more than 100 countries.

Resources

Learning from infoDev’s Mobile Microwork Innovation Competition

A new report by infoDev extracts the lessons from the m2Work idea challenge and hackathon, which together served as the pilot for infoDev’s “From Mind to Market” approach to fostering mobile entrepreneurship.

With 6 billion mobile phones around the world, of which 75% in developing countries, telephones reach most corners of the African continent. Mobile phones have improved the lives of the poor. Two new infoDev-led studies, focusing on South Africa and Kenya, provide insights on how useful mobile phones are for economic and social empowerment of people living off less than $2.50 a day.

Summary of key data in the IC4D 2012 report

Mobile phones are perhaps the fastest-spreading technology in all of history, with profound implications for global interconnectedness, trade, inclusivity, and growth. A new report by infoDev and the World Bank charts the new development opportunities of the mobile era; this infographic presents salient facts and figures from the report.

This report analyzes the growth and evolution of applications for mobile phones, focusing on their use in agriculture, health and financial services, as well as their impact on employment and government. It also explores the consequences for development of the emerging app economy, summarizing current thinking and seeking to inform the debate on the use of mobile phones for development. It's no longer about the phone itself, but about how it is used, and the content and applications that mobile phones open.

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About

infoDev's Mobile Innovation Program

Mobile access has been linked with economic growth, and the industry itself boosts local economies by creating high-value jobs. Mobile software applications are becoming increasingly important in areas like healthcare, education, governance and banking. The Creating Sustainable Businesses in the Knowledge Economy Program, funded by the government of Finland, and in partnership with Nokia, laid the foundation for the Mobile Innovation program, which piloted a network of mLabs and mobile hubs with full stakeholder engagement. Over 100 mobile applications have been developed as a result. Since 2013, the Swedish International Development Agency also supports activities gearing toward female entrepreneurs and developers in the mobile sector.

The Mobile Innovation Program supports growth-oriented mobile apps businesses, by;

  1. Enabling entrepreneurship in the mobile industry, through venture incubation and acceleration;
  2. Building mobile innovation communities of entrepreneurs, investors, partners and mentors; and
  3. Researching the app economy of emerging and frontier markets.

Our network of mobile labs (mLabs) and mobile hubs (mHubs) in 15 countries acts as the backbone for our work.

For a deeper look at our Mobile Innovation Program, check out its chapter in our Work Program.