WAI (Women At Improvement)’s apps : Smart Mobile Apps for Rural Women at Bottom of Pyramid

WAI (Women At Improvement)’s apps : Smart Mobile Apps for Rural Women at Bottom of Pyramid

Papagarang Island, IndonesiaJakarta, Indonesia
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Tinamitra Mandiri is a social entreprise that focus on developing sustainable future. We create WAI apps, a smart mobile apps for empowering rural woman at BOP.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The need of reliable payment system in remote areas – lack of road access, lack of banks, etc – and user-friendly household financial guide for bottom of pyramid residences, especially with low health care and lack of education profile. We target on leveraging welfare of Bottom of Pyramid people, especially women in rural areas. Today, there are approximately 70 per cent of the world population lives in rural areas, where agriculture is the main source of income. Nearly half the world – over three billion people – live on less than $2.50 a day. Women are particularly vulnerable to poverty. Women have less access to education, earn less than men, and are subject to discrimination and exclusion from decision-making processes within households and communities. We want to strengthen women.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

1) Create mobile wallet for family purchase and saving by using SMS; 2) Smart dedicated mobile applications - delivered in customized local languange – for rural women, who enable them to plan their asset management also to increase family income based on preferable opportunities in their residences; 3) Give entrepreneurial opportunities for women as mobile phone voucher reseller agent; 4) Cause marketing platform. Give opportunities to everyone now to ‘change the world’ through daily activities
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

We start by using it for our Clean Water Project in Papagarang. People top-up their mobile wallet account by buying voucher from women who role as voucher reseller agents. After top-up the account, they can buy the water by using SMS. In the same time, the women reseller agents get profit sharing from cellphone network provider per transaction. Women in Papagarang families use WAI Smart Mobile Apps to plan their asset management and improving daily income. Their WAI apps account is linked with real money at their cellphone network provider account (which they use to buy clean water daily). Here, they can manage the assets for family basic needs - how much for education, water, food, health, savings, and how much it has been allocated succesfully in a month (in percent) - based on their actual money and expected income. Not only that, they can also plan prospective family income by looking at local job opportunities in their neighbourhood such as fishing, craft, textile, livestocks, etc. Moreover, rural women can register from their WAI apps and get the job. In addition, various content ranging from education to health content will be embeded too in the WAI apps to enhance women knowledge. Last but not least, WAI apps also creates cause marketing in the social network. One transaction means one donation. We collaborate with commerce business partners who agree to donate a portion of each transaction for the rural women and their family. We will give point from each donation so customer can monitor how much their contribution for the world online.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

For mobile entrepreneur, www.ruma.co.id and GrameenPhone has done women empowerment through mobile usage for years. Ruma has empowered more than 10.000 rural women entrepreneurs in Indonesia, and GrameenPhone achieve up to 37 million subscribers for BOP market beneficiaries in Bangladesh. For mobile wallet, we have SK Mobile Wallet in Korea and Entity-docomo in Japan who runs mobile payment system. For financial planning, we have www.ngaturduit.com. They help people to manage their money to reach certain goals. For cause marketing, we have numerous players from causeworldapp, Tom Shoes, wujudkan.com, etc. They use donation-by-transaction for certain causes. At time, for whole services package focused on BOP market, we are sole player. To lead the market, endless innovation is needed.

Founding Story

We established a clean water plant in Papagarang Island back on 2011. It was a remote area located within islands, lack of transportation access, and 2 hours away by boat from nearest bank. We have 1270 households to be served, but we find future problems in collecting fresh cash from them. We don’t have any banks around – it is located in other island - and get troubled in carrying cash in big amount island-to-island every day. One day, we figure out that we might use mobile transaction by optimizing existing cellphone network and phone voucher. And, Aha!, yes it can work technically and help our water business model transaction to be more reliable. The success of crowd-funding also inspired us to provide online platform for cause marketing actions towards Millenials Generation. When one transaction means one donation, now everyone can contribute through small things that they do daily - shopping and consumption -, share it to friends and multiple the social participation.
About You
Tinamitra Mandiri
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Organization
Organization Name

Tinamitra Mandiri

Organization Country

, JK, Jakarta

Country where this project is creating social impact

, NT, Papagarang Island

How long has your organization been operating?

1‐5 years

Has the organization received awards or honors? Please tell us about them

Top 10 Make a Difference Award 2012

E-Idea Winner 2011 Competition by LRQA & British Council

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How long have you been in operation?

Operating for less than a year

Which of the following best describes the barrier(s) your innovation addresses? Choose up to two


Social Impact
Please describe the goal of your initiative; outline what you are trying to achieve

Through WAI apps, we want to provide broader opportunities for rural poor, especially women at BOP. We give them access to technology, access to education/training, access to health care, and access to economic opportunity. Therefore, technology can improve their income and in the same time accelerate their life quality in a step-by-step modules they can choose themselves with the apps.

Which barrier(s) to financial inclusion does your solution seek to address? (select all applicable)

Physical and other accessibility obstacles that prevent communities from reaching financial services, The lack of affordable financial products tailored to the needs of underserved and excluded communities,, Powerful incentives for financial service providers to move up-market, Other (Please describe below).

If you selected 'other' above, please specify which other barriers to financial inclusion you solution seeks to address:

Give entrepreneurial opportunities for women by using low-tech gadget mobile phone

For which underserved or excluded communities will your solution create access to valuable, affordable, secure and comprehensive financial services?

We target the poorest 40 percent of the world’s population, which approximately 70 per cent of the population lives in rural areas, where agriculture is the main source of income. Poverty is increasingly concentrated in these areas; 16.6 per cent of rural people are poor compared with 9.9 per cent of urban populations. Millions of small farmers, farm workers and fishers are materially and financially unable to tap into the opportunities offered by years of economic growth. They are often geographically isolated and lack access to agricultural extension services, markets and financial services. The WAI apps is design to adapt and fit in their customs and behaviour - with their traditional language - which help themselves to solve community problems.

Could your solution work in other geographies or regions? If so, where?

Our solution is basically a mobile banking for the unbanked area with the saving education program. Thus, as long as in the certain area the citizen is not educated well in saving but they are used to use mobile phone such as SMS, and in this area has no bank access but there are cellular network available, our solution can works well.

If your solution is dramatically successful, how will things be different in 10 years?

The wealth will be increase and their quality of life will become sustainable because the citizen know the priority in fulfilling needs. Moreover, with the crowd-donation platform that use cause marketing from merchant in the developed area, the money is not only concentrated in the developed area, but also in underdeveloped area where our program is being held because our platform will transfer the money to this area. That is mean, there are more chance for higher wealth. This area could become developed area as well because from WAI Apps feature, we can publish the potential for the certain area, then any businessman can play in this area and use local resources. Not only the businessman get more opportunity for their business, but also the local citizen and local area quality of life will be growth because the area is more productive and not idle anymore.

What will have had to have changed to make this happen?

The telecom industry is no longer used for only information and communication, but also for economic transaction especially for remote areas. One platform for more benefit. So what should be change is the paradigm of industry player with the opportunity and the best practices in over the world.

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

WAI provides easiness in water purchase on Papagarang Island, will serve about 1270 households.

What is your projected impact over the next five years?

WAI provides easiness in water purchase on Papagarang Island of 1270 households and improve their women financial management literacy in first year. Then WAI expand to 5000 women users in year 2 and 10000 women users in year 3. The cause donation is prepared in year 1 and planned to engage 1000 volunteers (netizens and merchants) in year 2 and grow to be 5000 volunteers in year 3. in year 4 to 5, we plan to achieve 50.000 women user with 25.000 volunteers.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

Along the way, the cellphone network provider can raise service price too high. To overcome it, we plan to engage more cellphone provider – to minimize the network monopoly – and also set up our own network platform like GrameenPhone did.
The illiteracy rate of read and internet will also give barriers to enter rural women, but to overcome that we prepare training package include learning to read and operate general mobile and internet usage. We also put local traditional language as interface so then they will adapt the technology faster and better. This policy will give barrier to other competitors who want to enter the market since traditional languange adaptation takes much effort.
Other strategy is to engage local government from the beginning, so they become our strong alliance

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

Early Stage Implementation

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

Launch WAI 1.0 version in clean water sales for the neighborhood in Papagarang Islands

Task 2

Train and educate small groups of 100 women as early WAI’s Apps users and prospective voucher reseller agent

Task 3

Product evaluation and improving features in R&D division

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

Scaling Up and Crowd Engagement

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

Expand marketing plan to penetrate 1270 households women in the area

Task 2

Training more women WAI Apps users and provide them with education and health multimedia contents from cellphone network provide

Task 3

Create marketing buzz to engage netizens and merchants to participate on the cause crowd-funding donation

Tell us about your partnerships

We collaborate with national cellphone network provider. We get the mobile voucher, mobile network, mobile content, also phone/gadget embedded with WAI apps. For cause marketing, we work together with our partners in commerce business that agree to provide donation from a portion of their transactions. Today we have Vertesac (discount card using reusable shopping bag), Tap Shopping (delivery shopping using QR code), Never Been Better (breakthrough youth cafe), and more partners in the list. Furthermore, we will link our cause crowd-funding services to matched partners around the globe.

Are you currently targeting other specific populations, locations, or markets for your innovation? If so, where and why?

Currently, we focus the WAI apps trial in our Clean Water Project located in Papagarang Island, Nusa Tenggara Timur. Papagarang is an fishermen village that does not has clean water access with 1270 households living in poverty. We build reverse osmosis infrastructure to provide clean water for them. The condition is perfect for trial, since we have the supporting ecosystem consist of the user, the goods, and the transaction needs. In the same time, we lack of bank access, since it is located 2 hours away by boat in other island.

What type of operating environment and internal organizational factors make your innovation successful?

We need a good learning environment for the women, as the main user of WAI apps. Therefore, we make them into groups to easy peer assistance. For cause marketing, todays millenial generation will collaboratively take part with a good engagement by social media.

For internal, we need a strong motivated and dedicated team with passion in helping other to achieve better and proper life for all. The team has to be creative and innovative, especially in social engagement with the rural women.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list

Technology and Multimedia Support