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What Works: The Infocentros Telecenter Model

Executive Summary

WRI's business case studies go deeper into some of the most promising projects represented in the Digital Dividend Clearinghouse, providing detailed description and analysis of each business model, the market segment in which it operates, its successes and challenges, potential replicability and scalability. If possible, the study also documents the social impact of the venture.

Digital Dividends contracts teams of MBA students, under supervision of business school faculty, to research and write our business case studies, as they are uniquely suited to provide unbiased, professional assessments of the business models at low cost. Using MBA students has the added advantage of helping to interest a generation of future business leaders in microenterprise and global development issues.

El Salvador's Infocentros has a business model that is unique among telecenter networks. Not only it is based on a sophisticated franchising approach, but each telecenter operates as an incubator for new businesses based on local content and knowledge. Successful businesses are replicated across the telecenter network, with Infocentros gaining a share of the revenue. Infocentros is an example of a development-centered ICT strategy based in a unique partnership between government and civil society.

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