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.

Grameen Telecommunications uses Grameen Phone's advanced GSM technology in stationary village phones owned and operated by local entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs purchase the phones with money borrowed from Grameen Bank, and sell phone services to customers by the call. An average of 70 customers a month uses each phone. This shared-access business model concentrates demand and creates relatively high cash flow, even in poor villages, enabling operators to make regular loan payments and still turn a profit.