DreamStart Labs, KEIPhone gift smartphones to unbanked women in Africa
By Edlyn Cardoza
DreamStart Labs, a provider of digital banking technology for emerging markets, and KEIPhone, a provider of free smartphones for unconnected women, recently announced a strategic partnership to bring free FinTech-enabled smartphones to unbanked women in Africa. Women who have been excluded from formal financial services will be able to save, invest, and access loans from the convenience of their own phones – even if they live miles away from a bank.
KEIPhone changes the game for underserved women in Africa by providing them with high-quality smartphones at no cost. Through this partnership, every phone distributed by KEIPhone will be pre-installed with the DreamSave app from DreamStart Labs – a FinTech app that makes it easy for unbanked people to save money, access loans and achieve financial goals.
The free FinTech-enabled smartphones will be made possible through an innovative advertising-based revenue model. Women receiving the free phones will view ads with relevant content targeted specifically to their unique needs. Key ad focus areas will include mobile money services to help female entrepreneurs improve their small businesses, agricultural innovations to help farming communities increase profits, and pay-as-you-go solar products to improve access to affordable clean energy.
The partnership will initially target 10,000 women in rural Uganda, with expansion to other African countries planned for later in the year. Distribution and training will be conducted in partnership with leading NGOs and international development partners.
“Nearly 1 billion women around the world are excluded from formal financial services today,” said Wes Wasson, CEO of DreamStart Labs. “Our DreamSave app makes informal community banking fast, fun, and easy – even if you’ve never used a smartphone before. We’re delighted to partner with KEIPhone as we help these amazing women achieve their dreams of a better life.”
“Our passion at KEIPhone is to give women equal access to mobile technology, connecting them to the world and to each other,” said Lauren Hendricks, CEO of KEIPhone. “Providing women with smartphones is one of the most effective ways to improve the social, physical, and economic health of entire communities. We are inspired by the work DreamStart Labs is doing and are excited to bring their DreamSave app to our users.”
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