hiveonline goes to Niger with CARE International
Small businesses everywhere face the same problems, and most small businesses aren’t in Denmark! So while we’re focusing on building our customer base in Denmark, we’re also exploring future markets where hiveonline’s unique technology can have an even greater impact. Most small businesses in the developing world don’t have access to banks or even formal ID, making hiveonline’s mobile based reputation system and agreements an important tool in helping to develop economic engagement and financial inclusion. Developing this future value proposition, we’ve been invited by CARE International on a sponsored field study to explore opportunities to support business communities in the most underdeveloped country in the world, Niger.
Niger has been the least developed country in the world or near the bottom of the rank for many years. It’s a beautiful country with thousand-year-old buildings and an amazing archaeological history, one of the earliest settled in the world. But it’s suffered from environmental challenges – 90% of the country is desert, political challenges and extreme poverty, resulting in ranking lowest on world indices such as financial inclusion, literacy and access to infrastructure.
hiveonline will be going to Niger in the first week of October to see how our software can help unlock financial inclusion and community markets, alongside the Africa Smart Villages programme. We’ll be focusing on some of the world’s oldest businesses – nomadic herders who have been raising their livestock and trading in the same way for millennia. Overcoming the challenges of commerce and financial inclusion in a country with inadequate infrastructure and communications is going to take a community, so alongside CARE we’ll be working with the local Village Savings and Loans Association, government ministries, tel-co providers, banks and other associations to find how our solution can make a difference. Infrastructure providers in our partner network are also working on the project, providing some cool portable communications and storage solutions. Following this field study, we’re hoping to follow up with a pilot next year.
UPDATE: hiveonline stopped working on the CARE eArziki project in March 2020 after mutual agreement to end the partnership. While the savings group application was developed and tested, it did not go live and was not used by groups in Niger.