Simplifying access to goods

Simplifying access to goods

South AfricaSouth Africa
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

Improves access to goods, livelihoods and economic opportunities in grassroot communities through a mobile commerce platform.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

- 70% (560 000 million)o f Sub Saharan Africans (SSA) live outside of urban areas, making it difficult to find work and goods. - 10% (300 million) migrate outside of their homelands to find work so that they can support their families. - They hope that the remittances and goods they send make it home to feed their families. But theft, accidents and border-post corruption means that sometimes the families in the village do not get these cash/goods remittances. - Crossborder trade and shopping is a trillion dollar industry that is being catered by women acting as informal crossborder traders/microtraders.

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

moWoza allows people to remit, order and pay for goods easily via mobile phone. - migrants can remit and pay for goods easily, while villagers can securely order and pay for goods. - 1 text message notifies them that their goods are ready for pick from a local merchant. - informal crossborder traders (micro-traders) don’t need to travel long distances to place orders. - moWoza fills the gap for approximately 16 million migrants who are based in Southern, East and West Africa - This improves livelihoods through the trusted supply chain of access to goods. For micro-traders their economic opportunities are increased.
Impact: How does it Work

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

David, is a Mozambican migrant worker in South Africa and his family live in a village outside the capital of Mozambique. 1. A moWoza agent helps David registers on moWoza, 2. David places an order and pays via mobile. The order he places consists of food products which the family normally struggle to access. 3. This order is routed to a moWoza partner in Mozambique who fulfils the order and distributes it to a village merchant. 4. Simultaneously, David’s family is notified of the order via SMS. The SMS let’s David’s family know when they can pick up the order from the merchant. 5. The merchant verifies the order against the data that David’s family shows him and hands over the goods. With this new mobile shopping solution, a new lifeline is created in the form of food security for families across Africa.

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

Formal competitors: To date our target market has only used Western Union in times of emergencies, but if they dropped their fees we would look to incorporate there services into our business. Similar new innovative business models like mypaga and willstream. However these two competitors are based in West Africa and are the providers of the technology. We are ensuring that the goods are where the family members need them most. Informal competitors: family and friends who are travelling back to the home country. Although they do not offer the regularity that our service provides.

Founding Story

I was travelling across the border to Mozambique and witnessed how migrants are carrying goods from South Africa into Mozambique. For decades migrant workers and their families in Mozambique have relied on products from South Africa yet they all have a mobile phone. So it became clear that if they could easily buy the goods in South Africa and then partner in Mozambique with established retailers we could solve some of the burden that migrants and their families have in accessing goods. From this moment I started to research and understand the social fabric of migrant workers in South Africa and across the African continent and it became apparent that I could contribute through a service like moWoza.
About You
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Organization
Organization Name


Organization Country
Country where this project is creating social impact
Age of Innovator

Over 34

Gender of Innovator


How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

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

moWoza has been selected as a SE Forum enterprise (2012) and the founder is an Unreasonable Institute fellow (2012)

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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
What solution(s) does your initiative address to better the lives of girls and women by leveraging technology? (select all applicable)

Access to technology, Access to economic opportunity.

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

We ran a proof of concept with 75 migrants who were supporting between 350 and 500 family members. (We worked with two agents in South Africa and two merchants in Mozambique). For each order a migrant placed they were saving 33% compared to sending a Western Union remittance and 12% compared to asking family/friends/informal couriers to send the goods to their families.

moWoza customers / beneficiaries are new customers for the agent and merchant and therefore we were increasing there trading activity and revenues.

Further research indicates that we can have a similar impact on micro cross-border traders and on the livelihood of rural and urban migrants within the local country.

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

By year three:
- Our impact is to impact the lives of 14,000 migrant workers and their family members (average of 70,000) in Southern Africa. To achieve this we will work with a crossborder labour broker and informal cross-border traders.

- increase revenue streams for 100 village merchants and 75 agents.

- increase the economic opportunity of 1,000 informal Mozambican crossborder traders by reducing the amount the costs incurred from the travel that they are currently doing to purchase products (inventory).

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

The success of our project will be hampered by operational costs of running a business in two areas. For this reason, each of the crossborder operations needs to become self-sustainable and for that we are looking at selling directly to the local community too (opposed to just being a crossborder service targeting migrant workers).

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

Sign agreement with grassroot transport provider to access migrant workers. Demo a mobile phone solution w/ crossborder traders

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

Expand the pilot and expand to several new areas to impact 1100 migrants

Task 2

Fundraise to support the development of the technology and to employ sales force

Task 3

Develop a mobile phone supply chain module incorporate this into the pilot

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

2500 registered customers and 250 crossborder traders actively using the mobile supply chain module.

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

Be present in 3 major migrant areas in South Africa

Task 2

Be present in 20 villages in 2 districts in Mozambique

Task 3

Identified one major corporate sponsor (e.g. Nestle)

Tell us about your partnerships

We have started initial conversations with a FMCG provider, a crossborder labour broker and a informal crossborder association. This ensures that we have access to products, customers and crossborder traders.

We are also partnering with a technology developer in order to have the relevant software skills at hand.

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

Access to HUBS