Bangladesh. Probably not your first guess; it certainly wasn’t mine, but when I read all the various innovations that are going on there – I was impressed. Beyond Profit Magazine had a great article about a number of innovative ideas that help make Bangladesh a leading light in the use of mobile phones to help reduce poverty; or at least reduce the barriers to access services. Some of the innovations mentioned include mobile money, mobile healthcare, mobile education, and mobile helplines.
I’m fascinated with the mobile phone and how prevalent it is – from youth to elderly, from the “poor” to the “rich” – it’s everywhere and it’s not going away anytime soon. It is a big status symbol with some phones costing millions of dollars ($3.2 million!), but the majority being in the more affordable price range even for people living on a couple of dollars a day. Some markets are saturated while others are still high growth, but yet, I’m fascinated by their potential to help right injustice and lift people out of poverty. It’s great to see Bangladesh lead the way on this front and perhaps we (in the west) can learn a few things from them.