Kenya leads the world in mobile money. Yes, you read that correctly. While apps like Venmo thrive in the US, they cannot compare to the success demonstrated by Kenya's M-PESA program, which started as a micro-loan system and grew into the most effective means of transferring cash in the world. And while some companies are trying to find ways to exploit this money-making endeavor, Seeds and Jevelo are hoping to promote women entrepreneurs in Kenya by selling jewelry for Mother's Day through this system.
It's actually quite simple. Through Sunday, May 8th, a portion of all proceeds from each piece of bespoke Jevelo jewelry sold will fund a microloan for a female Kenyan entrepreneur. Because of the lack of traditional banking services in parts of the country, these microloans – transferred through M-PESA – can help with everyday purchases as well as business growth expenses.
“We believe, as does Jevelo, that for-profit companies can create positive change,” says CEO of Seeds, Rachel Cook. “So many of the entrepreneurs that benefit from the microloans we provide are balancing the demands of business and motherhood in challenging circumstances, and we want to honor their strength and determination this Mother's Day.”
Seeds has a long history of working towards social good through the use of mobile technology. Their entire platform is set up to provide funds to struggling countries around the world. Mobile gaming apps sign on with Seeds and provide in-app prompts that allow users to make purchases. A portion of every purchase is then siphoned into microloans for entrepreneurs around the world. By making capital more attainable, they are diversifying the global market and promoting actual change rather than simply providing charity.
Selling jewelry to benefit women entrepreneurs in Kenya may seem like it can't make a difference. But if you are looking to actually contribute to the betterment of humanity, this is the way to do it. Giving change to the homeless guy at the end of the block doesn't change his situation. Donating your old clothes to a nearby church won't eradicate poverty.
Seeds and Jevelo are actively providing the means of success to less fortunate people. They are giving them a chance to establish a self-sustaining economy that promotes the entrepreneurial spirit. Rather than stifling their drive with handouts and charity, they are handing over the reigns to women entrepreneurs in Kenya. And they know what they're doing.