Ibu Ade, Indonesia
Life has dealt Ibu Ade quite a few hard blows. After her first husband died, she was left alone to raise two children in a remote part of Indonesia. Things remained tough even after she remarried. Her older child, aged 15, was forced to leave school because of the family’s financial constraints. Her 7-year old is in the first grade.
Ibu Ade’s second husband earns 180,000 Indonesian rupiah (about $19) each week as a construction worker, but also has to pay for transportation to and from, and meals at, his job. Now 35, Ibu Ade runs a warung (a small grocery store), earning 80,000 rupiah each day (about $8), with an average daily profit of 8,000-10,000 rupiah (about 80 cents to $1).
In April 2011, Ibu Ade found another opportunity to help her family – selling airtime for mobile phones. She is now part of a microfranchise network established by Grameen Foundation and Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach initiative™ and managed by Ruma, a local social enterprise. This new business has enabled her to increase her income by about 20%, adding about $2 per day for her family.
She is part of a growing network of 10,500 microfranchisees (85 percent of whom are women) who serve more than 1.5 million customers. On average, they earn $1.10 per day – a significant sum in a country where 75 percent of the population lives on less than $2.50 per day.
In addition to selling mobile airtime minutes to local customers, microfranchisees can use the phones to provide customers with additional services, such as access to job listings.