Millicom International Cellular, a Luxembourg-based telecommunications company also known as Tigo; the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, a UK-based charity promoting women’s entrepreneurship; and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), a US government agency that provides international economic and humanitarian assistance, have partnered to assist 4,000 women in Rwanda to become Tigo mobile money agents. Over 18 months, the initiative would offer financial literacy and business development training to the entrepreneurs as well as access to a 12-month working capital to be disbursed via unspecified microfinance institutions (MFIs).
Tongai Muramba, head of mobile financial services product, TigoCash, reportedly noted that, “This initiative enables our women agents to access additional working capital to support more transactions on TigoCash which means more people can be financially included.” TigoCash agents allow customers to upload cash from their TigoCash accounts, which can be used to send money via mobile phones to other mobile phone users and to pay for retail purchases.
USAID offers a suite of resources aimed at improving the outcomes of microenterprise development research and practice at http://microlinks.kdid.org/ .
By Chioma Okwudiafor, Research Associate
About Millicom International Cellular (Tigo)
Founded in 1990, Millicom International Cellular, also known as Tigo, is based in Luxembourg and provides a mobile phone network access in 13 countries in America and Africa. As of 2011, Millicom reported assets of USD 4.5 billion. Tigo has 31 million subscribers.
About Cherie Blair Foundation
The Cherie Blair Foundation is a London-based charity that was founded in 2008 to provide women with the skills, technology, networks and access to finance in an effort to allow them to become business owners that can contribute to their economies and have a stronger voice in their societies. Working in partnership with nonprofit, private and public sector organisations, the foundation has three main programmes: enterprise development, mentoring and mobile technology. As of 2011, the foundation had total assets of GBP 1.4 million (USD 2.2 million).
About US Agency for International Development (USAID)
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is a government agency that provides international economic and humanitarian assistance. It focuses on areas such as economic growth, agriculture, trade, health, democracy, conflict prevention and humanitarian assistance. Under the Development Credit Authority (DCA), it provides credit guarantees that cover up to 50 percent of defaults on wholesale loans made by private financial institutions to institutions that lend on a retail basis to underserved borrowers. USAID had a total of USD 51.6 billion in budgetary resources in 2012.
Sources and Additional Resources:
AllAfrica Story: Rwanda: Tigo to Foster Women Entrepreneurship
MicroCapital Story: January 8, 2012, “MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Government of Rwanda, Visa Incorporated Partner on Electronic Financial Services” http://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-government-of-rwanda-visa-incorporated-partner-on-electronic-financial-services/
MicroCapital Universe Profile: Millicom Cellular International
MicroCapital Universe Profile: Cherie Blair Foundation
MicroCapital Universe Profile: Unites States Agency for International Development
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