“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – U.S. Author, Mark Twain
Calling women around the world!
Calling leaders in technology!
Calling dreamers and adventurers!
We are currently seeking candidates for the next cohort of TechWomen Emerging Leaders from across the Middle East and Africa. We invite you to apply for the fall 2013 program. The application deadline is less than a month away.
Divine Ndhlukula, Juliana Rotich and Mariéme Jamme are a few inspirational African women at the forefront of technology and entrepreneurship. They are paving the way for other women in their countries. They are leaders in their communities who are helping initiate change and create greater prosperity. According to recent article in the New York Times, in 21st-century Africa, businesswomen are pushing into the national scenes of their countries as movers and shakers of industry.
Menekse Gencer is revolutionizing the way the developing world interacts with money. The 2011 and 2012 TechWomen Mentor is empowering rural farmers by enabling them to process payments through cell phones.
Gencer is the Founder of mPay Connect, a San Francisco-based company which seeks to change the landscape of financial services by helping clients in emerging markets launch mobile money services.
In addition to facilitating payments, Gencer gives farmers access to services such as insurance and credit, which they might otherwise find only in cities. These services mitigate the effects of catastrophic events such as droughts or floods, creating vital safety nets for farmers whose livelihoods depend on the whims of nature.
Why the mobile phone? In a recent video posted by FastCompany, Gencer explains, “More people in the world have access to mobile phones than they have to running water, electricity, or even toilets…[Shareholder farmers] are the ones who live the furthest away from everything. Therefore, the only access they’re going to get to financial services is not going to be with the bank branch, but through the mobile phone.”
While small farmers have generally been skeptical of mobile money in the past, stories of success have inspired increasing confidence in microfinance and technology, spreading mobile payments services globally. Through technology, companies like mPay Connect are creating new opportunities for people in simple, innovative ways.