Do mLabs Still Mak...

Do mLabs Still Make a Difference?

A Second Assessment

This report is a follow-up assessment from the 2014 report Do mLabs make a Difference. The report shares key findings on the impact of infoDev’s mobile application labs (mLabs). mLabs were designed as pilot projects in 2011, to provide specialized incubation and acceleration services to digital entrepreneurs. In the years since the ecosystems they serve have grown substantially, and the mLabs’ business models have similarly evolved.

Read the executive summary

Read the full report


The report highlights the mLabs’ impact on entrepreneurial ecosystems and digital start-ups, as well as the start-ups’ impact on local markets. Some of the key findings include:

mLab start-ups have:

  • Achieved a very high survival rate, especially in Africa
  • Created a substantial number of jobs, directly and indirectly
  • Gained greater financial health compared to peer start-ups

Local markets have benefited from:

  • Mobile-based academic materials and instruction delivered to over 1.7 million students through a digital platform
  • Increased capacity to monitor farm crops, water usage, and sales
  • Hundreds of famers have earned additional income of $155 per month, totaling $2.7M in a year

mLabs have enabled their entrepreneurial ecosystems by:

  • Proving the incubation model
  • Accelerating digitization of the economy
  • Enriching technical capacity and entrepreneurship skills.

Download the report to read more, including the recommendations.


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