3b. Best Mobile Product or Service for Women in Emerging Markets

Category 3: Social & Economic Development

3b. Best Mobile Product or Service for Women in Emerging Markets

The GSMA mWomen Programme aims to increase resource-poor women’s access to and use of mobile phones and life-enhancing mobile services in low- and middle-income countries. Launched in October 2010, the initiative is a key industry response to the findings of the GSMA and The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women’s Women and Mobile: A Global Opportunity study, which estimated that 300 million fewer women subscribed to mobile than men, suggesting a US$ 13 billion missed market opportunity.

Today, the GSMA mWomen programme objectives are to:

  • Encourage industry to serve resource-poor women
  • Increase availability of life-enhancing value-added services
  • Promote solutions to women’s barriers to usage.

The programme pursues these objectives by offering seed funding and consulting support to help mobile operators and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) design and launch products and services to increase women’s access and use of mobile. The programme also generates and shares insights on the commercial and social value of serving women, as well as emerging lessons about economically sustainable ways to serve women with mobile at scale.

The GSMA mWomen Award celebrates products, services, distribution models, devices, applications or other innovations that increase mobile access and use by resource-poor women in low- and middle-income countries. For example, in addition to winning this prestigious award last year, Ooredoo’s Asiacell increased the proportion of women in its subscriber base from 20% to 40%, reaching nearly two million women, through its suite of products and services for the women of Iraq.

Shortlisted candidates will be published by the GSMA in January 2014, and one winner in each category will be announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Tuesday 25th February 2014.


The GSMA mWomen award is open to any organisation operating in the mobile industry, e.g.:

  • Mobile network operators
  • Equipment manufacturers
  • Content providers or aggregators
  • Application developers
  • Social enterprises
  • Non-governmental organizations.

The category is for commercially available products, services, distribution models, devices, applications or other innovations that have been launched in at least one market OR are in large-scale market trials before the awards deadline. The Entry Deadline has been extended until Friday 6th December 2013.

Judging criteria

Successful entries will be able to demonstrate thoughtful design and successful implementation of approaches that increase women’s access to and use of mobile phones, ideally by means of commercially sustainable business models. Entrants should be able to demonstrate:

  • How the offering increases women’s access and use of mobile phones
  • Any other additional benefits to resource-poor women in low- or middle-income countries, e.g. access to finance, economic opportunity, safety and security, etc.
  • Commercial viability and sustainability
  • Clear strategy for scaling and replicating in current and future markets
  • Innovation, in particular the development and introduction of previously unavailable services and products that meet women’s needs.

How to enter

Submission of video to support entries is strongly encouraged.

In your application, you may provide a URL link to one YouTube video of 3 to 5 minutes maximum length, either privately or publicly posted. If creating a private post, please provide a user name and password for judges to access.

You may also direct judges via a link to one website providing information relating to your product, service, programme or initiative. Due to the volume of entrants, judges will view one website only.

The online entry form includes an upload facility for you to provide multimedia. You will have the ability to upload 5 additional files to accompany your entry up to a maximum file size of 5MB each. These can be illustration PDFs, such as for customer testimonials, JPEG for photos or PowerPoint for technical diagrams or statistics, but please keep these relevant to your entry and at most, 2 pages each.

Specific entry form questions for this category:

On the entry form, in addition to submitting contact and company information, please answer the following questions. Please note the maximum character length, for your answers, including spaces, as indicated below:

  1. What is the official name of your product or initiative? Please note that the name provided will be used in all award publicity. (150 characters = approx 25 words)
  2. Is this a joint entry? If so, who are the partner organisations? (150 characters = approx 25 words)
  3. When was it launched and in which markets? (500 characters = approx 85 words)
  4. How does the product or service benefit resource-poor women in low- and middle-income countries, particularly women living on less than $2 per day? (1,500 characters = approx 250 words)
  5. How is the product or service innovative relative to those currently in the market? (1,500 characters = approx 250 words)
  6. How many women have benefited from the product or initiative to date? What are your targets for number of women reached 12 months and 24 months after launch? (1,500 characters = approx 250 words)
  7. How is the product commercially sustainable and scalable? What is the business model? (1,500 characters = approx 250 words)
  8. What marketing and distribution strategies have you employed to promote the product or service to women? (1,500 characters = approx 250 words)
  9. What are plans for expanding your product or service into existing or future markets? (1,500 characters = approx 250 words)

Please note: Use one URL that is specific and relevant to the category and will help judges further understand your entry, but due to the number of entries received, judges will not have time to surf company websites looking for further information on the entered product/service or initiative.

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