Digital Inclusion

Selected

AKABOXI

Digital financial inclusion for smallholder farmers

Team Lead

Atuhaire Sarah Baryaija

Solution Overview

Solution Name:

AKABOXI

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

One-line solution summary:

A digital financial inclusion system for vulnerable small holder farmers in rural communities that monitors and manages their savings.

1
Add a comment

Read comments
Loading…

Pitch your solution.

Akaboxi provides rural communities organized in Village Savings and Loan Association groups with a robust and secure way of handling savings from agricultural proceeds at every stage of the agricultural value chain, savings money kept in boxes, to be managed and monitored by use of a Digitized Financial Inclusion system (Akaboxitech system). A new technology that replaces the rudimentary way of keeping money in boxes and in people’s homes to a more secure, reliable and easy to monitor savings and transactions. The solution enables the financially excluded vulnerable poor access finance from formal financial institutions. The system credit scores each individual member in the group and enables the group to open an account in a formal financial institution within their reach. Akaboxi provides a holistic package access to ready markets, closing the financial gap, trainings) to small holder farmers aimed at increased productivity, increased savings hence improved livelihoods. 


2
Add a comment

Read comments
Loading…

Film your elevator pitch.

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

What specific problem are you solving?

Akaboxi solves the problem of financial exclusion of small holder farmers and the vulnerable persons in rural communities. The small holder farmers in rural communities face challenges of access to finance for their small agricultural projects. As a result, they organize themselves informally in Village Savings and Loan Association groups (VSLAs). They hold savings and credit meetings every week in groups of 30 people on average. They create a savings pool of money, each person on average saves as little as 0.3 USD, kept in metallic boxes and is usually under the custody of their leaders. These vulnerable groups face challenges of low savings, insecurity of the hard earned money, theft of the money, lack of awareness as a result of high illiterate levels, alteration of data by the leaders among others. Akaboxi provides a digital solution for managing and monitoring their savings and leverages on the existing platforms like mobile money to have their money secured by sending it on their group account in a formal financial institution of within their reach.

1
Add a comment

Read comments
Loading…

What is your solution?

Akaboxi assigns every individual member in the group with Identity Cards (ID) for clear identification capturing the necessary demographic information about each member. This ID card embedded with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology which is used for identification of each member in the specific group which is also used for transactions either during saving and borrowing of money. The system is linked to each member's mobile money wallet which they can use to withdraw money from any mobile money outlet in their location. Akaboxi improves security for women savings, monitors transactions and saves time. A receipt is issued out for every transaction that the farmer makes. These transactions include depositing money, account balances for each individual saver, outstanding loan balances and the system sends messages to everyone who owns any kind of phone and is a member of the registered group.   

1
Add a comment

Read comments
Loading…

Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?

We target the small holder farmers in rural communities. The financially excluded vulnerable people who live in rural areas. We enable digital financial inclusion of marginalized rural communities especially women and youth by digitizing Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs).

These are organized in VSLAs and are over 2 Million in Uganda.

These people are often not eligible or cannot afford access to formal financial services and thus resort to pulling their savings together in boxes and give loans to their fellow group members, which limits their access to capital that could foster their investment in better livelihoods. This exclusion is a result of stringent traditional banking conditions, lack of collateral, long distances to banking facilities, financial illiteracy, low productivity leading to low savings, high costs of account operations, and high-interest rates. These people save the money collected and borrowed in boxes under their leader’s groups bed or in the roofs of their house which is not safe (of fire or theft for instance).  

A research was made in 2018 to understand their needs. We do constant monitoring and trainings and every end of the training, a follow-up report is made based on findings from the surveys that are done regularly.

Our system is customized for VSLAs. We have a strong team that does research and development based on the users needs.

1
Add a comment

Read comments
Loading…

Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Scale safe and private digital identity and financial tools to allow people and small businesses to thrive in the digital economy.
Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Explain how the problem you are addressing, the solution you have designed, and the population you are serving align with the Challenge.

Akaboxi facilitates access to financial services for marginalized groups of people especially women and youth in rural communities. This is achieved by enabling each group to open an account in a bank or any regulated financial institution.  We provide digital financial literacy training introducing them to a digitized bookkeeping system by providing a smart POS Terminal with the Akaboxitech application. This represents a critical first step of improving the credibility and transparency of all savings and eases the tracking of savings. Opening a group account in a financial institution enables them access extra financial services like credit.

1
Add a comment

Read comments
Loading…

In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?

Kampala, Uganda
Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

What is your solution’s stage of development?

Scale: A sustainable enterprise working in several communities or countries that is looking to scale significantly, focusing on increased efficiency.
Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Explain why you selected this stage of development for your solution.

Akaboxi is a sustainable project widely spread in Uganda, we work in Northern Uganda in the districts of Kore and Otuke. Southern Uganda in Sheema, Ntungamo and Isingiro districts. In Kasese district, Mubuku Irrigation scheme phase 11, and Central region with Kiboga and Mubende districts. We have over 2,047 clients/ users in Uganda. The other services that Akaboxi provides sustains the company like the Obuboxi shops for farmers access to ready markets and closing the financial gap to the VSLAs.

 

1
Add a comment

Read comments
Loading…

Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

Atuhaire Sarah Baryaija

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.
More About Your Solution

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new technology
Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

What makes your solution innovative?

Akaboxi is innovative in that it enables financial inclusion for specifically smallholder farmers in rural setting majority women and unemployed youths by empowering women that do farming and save together in small saving groups of 30 women.

Akaboxi is a holistic approach that aims at increasing productivity of the vulnerable people in totality for bigger economic benefits of rural communities by providing access to ready markets and bridging the financial gap to VSLAs.

The digitized system leverages on existing infrastructure of mobile money and financial institutions with a proper managing and monitoring tool. The digital device is linked to the financial institutions using mobile money. The system that uses a hand held device assigns every individual member in the savings group with Identity Cards (ID) for clear identification capturing the necessary demographic information about each member. This ID card embedded with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology is used for identification of each member in the specific group. The system is linked to each member's mobile money wallet which they can use to withdraw money from any mobile money outlet in their location.

Akaboxi improves security for women savings, monitors transactions, saves time and provides a credit scoring model for the small holder farmers to access more financing. A receipt is issued out for every transaction that the farmer makes.

Akaboxi does not disrupt the social networking and related benefits like access to information within the groups.

1
Add a comment

Read comments
Loading…

Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning
  • Behavioral Technology
  • Big Data
1
Add a comment

Read comments
Loading…

Select the key characteristics of your target population.

  • Women & Girls
  • Pregnant Women
  • LGBTQ+
  • Elderly
  • Rural
  • Poor
  • Low-Income
  • Refugees & Internally Displaced Persons
  • Minorities & Previously Excluded Populations
  • Persons with Disabilities
1
Add a comment

Read comments
Loading…

Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?

  • 1. No Poverty
  • 5. Gender Equality
  • 10. Reduced Inequality
Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

In which countries do you currently operate?

  • Uganda
Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

In which countries will you be operating within the next year?

  • Uganda
Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

How many people does your solution currently serve? How many will it serve in one year? In five years?

The current number Akaboxi is serving is 2,047 (direct users of the system) in Kiryandongo Refugee settlement, 2 districts in  Northern, 3 districts in Southern, 2 districts in Central and 1 district in Western Uganda. These are 48 savings groups of 43 members on average per group.

The number Akaboxi will be serving in one year

We expect to increase from 2,047 direct users to 3,070 direct users in all the regions of Uganda.

And in 5 years

We expect to serve 12,188 direct users increasing on the number of groups per district served and refugee settlements.

1
Add a comment

Read comments
Loading…

How are you measuring your progress toward your impact goals?

  • This will be measured by start line, midterm and end of year reports
  • Monthly monitoring reports
  • Surveys that will be done on a quarterly basis
  • observation
  • Sampling one by one groups on individual self satisfaction
  • Partner reports
  • By using the logical framework to capture progress regarding inputs and outputs of different objectives and activities based on deliverable s.

Deliverable s include users of Akaboxitech system, digital awareness skills, formal banking

Formal banking by VSLA groups, economic opportunities created, loans accessed from formal financial institutions and jobs created esp.in agriculture.

1
Add a comment

Read comments
Loading…
About Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?

For-profit, including B-Corp or similar models

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

How many people work on your solution team?

Full-time staff-5

Part-time staff-48

Other workers who work on call like drivers, System developer: 3

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

How long have you been working on your solution?

We have been working on Akaboxi solution for 3 years. For the team, we started 2 people, and after the first year, we moved to 2 people but with 5 volunteer coordinators and now the 3rd year we are 5 permanent workers and 49 volunteers.

1
Add a comment

Read comments
Loading…

How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

Akaboxi has a unique, dynamic, innovative hard working team. This makes the Akaboxi Company performance outstanding in COVID -19 times. The team comprises of a mixture of different skills and trainings from different institutions of learning. They have different expertise from outstanding organizations in Uganda and outside Uganda.

SARAH ATUHAIRE BARYAIJA- founder and CEO

An expert in gender and finance with over fifteen years in income generation small and medium enterprises both agricultural and non-agricultural related. She has over 7 years’ experience in offering consultancy in training in finance, gender and record keeping using technology. Founded Akaboxi in 2017, the digital financial inclusion for small holder farmers in communities.

She has vast experience in working with the biggest and oldest commercial bank in Uganda Centenary Bank for over 13 years. Passionate about women with high belief that women can transform the world once empowered.

JOSHUA MUNGUKENDE – System Analyst

An enthusiastic Computer Scientist with a passion of solving problems using technology. He has over 5 years’ experience of managing software development.

NOOR WAMPAMBA: Software Developer

Software developer: Mobile Application, Dashboard and Biometrics Designs (NFC), Engineering, and Innovation.

YVONNE KYOKUSIMA: Business Analyst

Business analysts, in charge of business development and organizing business workshops. She has over 3 years of working on women projects under ministry of finance and economic development in Uganda as a volunteer.

TUMWIJUKYE LILIAN: Field Coordinator

Conversant with Field dynamics and community engagements.

2
Add a comment

Read comments
Loading…

What is your approach to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive leadership team?

At Akaboxi, we promote inclusion by encouraging Interaction: Every team member is given opportunities to interact with each other and the members they serve in rural communities so they can build friendships and a sense of community. We believe in Strengths-Based Approach: where everyone has strengths and weaknesses. We provide capacity building trainings to develop and improve their strengths in different aspects pushing forward the vision and mission of Akaboxi Company.

 

We appreciate the benefits of building a high performance diverse team at Akaboxi by recruiting a diverse team, emphasis is put on the role of Human Resource in encouraging diversity, redefining the hiring process where we emphasize workers to come from the communities we serve. This helps to cater for problems associated with language barrier, cultural norms and traits. Inclusive behavior at workplace is encouraged to create a safe place where all can talk and listen to one another irrespective of the position one holds in the organization.  

1
Add a comment

Read comments
Loading…
Your Business Model & Partnerships

Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, to other organizations, or to the government?

Individual consumers or stakeholders (B2C)
Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.
Partnership & Prize Funding Opportunities

Why are you applying to Solve?

The main reason am applying to Solve is to become part of a global network that changes people’s lives making them better.

  • To receive access to funding in grants and investments, including through prizes and Solve Innovation Future;
  • To join a class of impressive peers that act as trusted support group, offering inspiration and guidance—and recognition and access as a Solver alumni team after completion of the program; 
  • To join a powerful network of impact-minded leaders across industries and sectors, with dedicated spaces to meet year-round and during Solve’s flagship events such as Solve at MIT;  
  • To access mentor-ship, coaching, and strategic advice from experts, as well as the Solve and MIT networks; 
  • To receive a monitoring and evaluation track to support you in building your impact measurement practice; 
  • To gain exposure in the media and at conferences;
1
Add a comment

Read comments
Loading…

In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

  • Human Capital (e.g. sourcing talent, board development, etc.)
  • Business model (e.g. product-market fit, strategy & development)
  • Public Relations (e.g. branding/marketing strategy, social and global media)
  • Product / Service Distribution (e.g. expanding client base)
Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Please explain in more detail here.

Human capital is an engine of every company. At Akaboxi, we would like to have this strengthened.

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

What organizations would you like to partner with, and how would you like to partner with them?

I would like to partner with VODAFONE. Vodafone supports programs in Tanzania our neighboring country with hand held devices.

MASTER CARD INTERNATIONAL


Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The ASA Prize for Equitable Education? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

No, I do not wish to be considered for this prize, even if the prize funder is specifically interested in my solution

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The Andan Prize for Innovation in Refugee Inclusion? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

Yes, I wish to apply for this prize

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use The Andan Prize for Innovation in Refugee Inclusion to advance your solution?

Akaboxi as a digital inclusion system that enables vulnerables in rural communities manage and monitor their savings together.

We enable financial inclusion to refugees in Uganda, and we hope to extend our services to other parts of the continent including Somalia, Rwanda, Kenya. Tanzania and Southern Sudan.

This solution solves refugee problems of data loss, alteration of data, theft of their money, digital literacy challenges, lack of access to finance for their projects among others.

Akaboxi is a holistic program that ensures that refugees are well trained in 6 aspects that compliment each other. The main reason is to improve productivity, increase incomes, savings for improved livelihoods.

We use a combination of different deliverable s to provide trainings and capacity building to the illiterate financially excluded refugees. The trainings are smart agriculture, enterprise skills development, gender, effects of climate change, financial literacy, and proper recording keeping using technology which is a hands on training using Akaboxitech system.

We use available and cheap tools to deliver information on a weekly basis using feature phones. They are cheap, available, accessible and easy to use. They do not require internet or airtime or data to use.It is a tool for sending short messages to refugees on a weekly basis for online digital modules. This we do in partnership with ZOORA, a project of Akaboxi.

We use phone tree method with the help of coordinators who are familiar with local languages given the fact that refugees come from different countries and speak different languages.

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for The HP Prize for Advancing Digital Equity? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

Yes, I wish to apply for this prize

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use The HP Prize for Advancing Digital Equity to advance your solution?

Akaboxi as a digital inclusion system that enables vulnerables in rural communities manage and monitor their savings together.

We enable financial inclusion to refugees in Uganda, and we hope to extend our services to other parts of the continent including Somalia, Rwanda, Kenya. Tanzania and Southern Sudan.

This solution solves refugee problems of data loss, alteration of data, theft of their money, digital literacy challenges, lack of access to finance for their projects among others.

Akaboxi is a holistic program that ensures that refugees are well trained in 6 aspects that compliment each other. The main reason is to improve productivity, increase incomes, savings for improved livelihoods.

We use a combination of different deliverable s to provide trainings and capacity building to the illiterate financially excluded refugees. The trainings are smart agriculture, enterprise skills development, gender, effects of climate change, financial literacy, and proper recording keeping using technology which is a hands on training using Akaboxitech system.

We use available and cheap tools to deliver information on a weekly basis using feature phones. They are cheap, available, accessible and easy to use. They do not require internet or airtime or data to use.It is a tool for sending short messages to refugees on a weekly basis for online digital modules. This we do in partnership with ZOORA, a project of Akaboxi.

We use phone tree method with the help of coordinators who are familiar with local languages given the fact that refugees come from different countries and speak different languages.

1
Add a comment

Read comments
Loading…

Do you qualify for and would you like to be considered for the Innovation for Women Prize? If you select Yes, explain how you are qualified for the prize in the additional question that appears.

Yes, I wish to apply for this prize

Add a comment

Read comments
No comments to show.

Explain how you are qualified for this prize. How will your team use the Innovation for Women Prize to advance your solution?

Akaboxi as a digital inclusion system that enables vulnerables in rural communities manage and monitor their savings together.

We enable financial inclusion to refugees in Uganda, and we hope to extend our services to other parts of the continent including Somalia, Rwanda, Kenya. Tanzania and Southern Sudan.

This solution solves refugee problems of data loss, alteration of data, theft of their money, digital literacy challenges, lack of access to finance for their projects among others.

Akaboxi is a holistic program that ensures that refugees are well trained in 6 aspects that compliment each other. The main reason is to improve productivity, increase incomes, savings for improved livelihoods.

We use a combination of different deliverable s to provide trainings and capacity building to the illiterate financially excluded refugees. The trainings are smart agriculture, enterprise skills development, gender, effects of climate change, financial literacy, and proper recording keeping using technology which is a hands on training using Akaboxitech system.

We use available and cheap tools to deliver information on a weekly basis using feature phones. They are cheap, available, accessible and easy to use. They do not require internet or airtime or data to use.It is a tool for sending short messages to refugees on a weekly basis for online digital modules. This we do in partnership with ZOORA, a project of Akaboxi.

We use phone tree method with the help of coordinators who are familiar with local languages given the fact that refugees come from different countries and speak different languages.

1
Add a comment

Read comments
Loading…

Solution Team

 
    Back
to Top