Finalist category: BT Ingenious Award 2014
BT Ingenious Award, Winner, 2014
Mobile phones at the bottom of the economic pyramid markets are becoming very valuable because they give people access to opportunities. Subsistence farming adds very little value to an economy – in fact in Sub-Saharan Africa, agriculture adds only 3% to the nations GDP (service industries add 71%), but most people are employed in agriculture. In Uganda more than 80% of the workforce is employed in agriculture. Mobile phones make it possible for people who had no possibilities beyond feeding their family, to engage in commerce with people outside of their local community and on the other side of the world.
BuffaloGrid are engaging in business with Ugandans this way right now. We provide our patent-pending solar charging units for free to entrepreneurs in the local community and they share in our profits. Customers pay for power with their mobile phones by simply sending a message. The system is remotely administrated and completely cashless, helping us to provide a reliable and affordable service. Our units allow people living in even the remotest areas of the world to get convenient access to power and soon the internet. In this way we are enable the mobile phones that are changing the way they live for the better.