fbpx
Categories
Impact Partnerships

FREE open-license business management and e-commerce training by Caribou Digital, Mastercard and Arifu.

FREE open-license business management and e-commerce training by Caribou Digital, Mastercard and Arifu.

Would you like to help small businesses grow so they can earn more, save more, take out bigger loans, and pay back their loans on time? Ask us about our Strive Digital Business Courses for small businesses, designed by Arifu under the Strive Community initiative in collaboration with Caribou Digital and funded by the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. The content is free to use with an Arifu Platform subscription, available in conversational text and rich media for delivery on any mobile channel including WhatsApp, FB Messenger, SMS, and API for your Android/iOS App.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Useful Links

Subscribe

Join Our Mailing List and always be the first to know about what's going on with our organization.
© 2020 Arifu. All Rights Reserved
Categories
Partnerships Press Webinars

Digitizing Rural & Agricultural Finance (DIG4RAF) In Africa 2022

Digitizing Rural & Agricultural Finance (DIG4RAF) In Africa 2022

Are you a financial service provider deploying digital finance, policy maker, implementer or investor in the field of digital finance solutions, development partner, academician, public or private funder, representative from Fintech or AgTech or AgriSMEs?

The conference themed, Analyzing Features Shaping the Digital Future of Rural and Agricultural Finance Landscape in Africa will bring together different stakeholders across the globe in the agrifinance industry to share insights and learn about:

  • Innovative technological innovations in Rural Agricultural Finance (RAF) affecting the development of Digital Financial Services (DFS) in Africa.
  • Critical success factors for deploying financial and non-financial technological Innovations in RAF.

Capacity of financial sector & agriculture sector players, Fintechs, Agripreneurs and other non-financial sector players on new technological trends and

Join us from May 23 to May 27 at the conference on:

DIGITIZING RURAL & AGRICULTURAL FINANCE (DIG4RAF) IN AFRICA 2022

Organized by the Africa Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (AfRACA) at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies, Nairobi, Kenya

Few slots left: Grab your seat HERE (Mention Arifu and get a discount)

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Useful Links

Subscribe

Join Our Mailing List and always be the first to know about what's going on with our organization.
© 2020 Arifu. All Rights Reserved
Categories
Partnerships Press Webinars

How can financial service providers help build financial capability?

In this webinar, Bilal Zia and Pete Sparreboom, discussed how financial service providers can help build financial capability of their clients. In an increasingly digitised world where we are including more into formal financial systems, lack of information and understanding will remain a challenge for many. Whilst many understand the need to save and access credit, the choice of product and provide is more complex. Financial education can be expensive to deliver and does not always lead to changes in financial behaviour.  

If delivered well, financial education is often designed to motivate people to use digital payment and transfer services, increase their formal savings and improve their borrowing and repayment decisions. This not only benefits the consumers themselves, but also the banks, microfinance institutions and mobile money operators that serve them.

We are now beginning to see evidence emerging that if done well, there is correlation between financial literacy and good financial decisions. on the economy. For financial education to have impact, it needs to have three key characteristics to be well-designed, well-targeted and well-timed.

– Design: Interactive, story-based, gamified and addressing multiple senses. Also the channel it is delivered on, such as television, radio or mobile phones – going to where the consumer already is

– Targeting: Needs-based, adapted to characteristics of a segment (e.g. gender or farming), and personalised to individual knowledge and experience

– Timing: Provided at teachable moments such as when people migrate or when farmers sell their harvest (and can save) or need to plant or store (and need a loan)

Evidence has also shown that financial education works better when it is offered as part of a broader set of measures, designed to remove different constraints.  It is very effective when it is offered alongside good and highly accessible formal financial products, as well as complementary measures to help change behaviour.

By making use of technology, it is also possible to cut some of the costs down for financial education. For example, Arifu offers mobile financial education and information via a chatbot technology through SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook messenger and Telegram channels. This is successful because the training is engaging, tailored and convenient. Financial services providers can consider mobile financial education as a tool that can complement marketing and customer service.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Useful Links

Subscribe

Join Our Mailing List and always be the first to know about what's going on with our organization.
© 2020 Arifu. All Rights Reserved
Categories
Partnerships Press

Partnership Announcement – Jobberman Nigeria signs up with Arifu to equip Jobseekers with Digital Training

Jobberman Nigeria signs up with Arifu to equip Jobseekers with Digital Training.  

13th July 2021: Jobberman, the single largest online training and job placement website in sub-Saharan Africa announced its partnership with Arifu to deliver interactive educational training through the Arifu Digital Learning Platform, facilitate learning at scale, and equip jobseekers with digital training to enable them to improve their effectiveness in seeking work.

This free service will be provided to jobseekers in Nigeria. The objective of this training is to uplift critical skills for jobseekers to build confidence and empower individuals across Nigeria with the training and skills they need to succeed ultimately leading to creating long-term economic impacts for this target group. It will be available on Arifu’s Digital Learning Platform, accessible using interactive Whatsapp and Telegram.

Having partnered with the Mastercard Foundation through its Young Africa Works strategy in 2020, this deal is part of Jobberman’s mission to train five million young Nigerians and place three million of them in dignified employment by 2025. Jobberman is the only recruitment services platform in Nigeria that offers training and placement of candidates in dignified and fulfilling employment. This training program equips young people (18-35) with critical tools, to help them transition into their new roles and increase workplace productivity.

According to Rolake Rosiji, CEO of Jobberman Nigeria “We are excited to be using Arifu’s technology as it encapsulates Jobberman’s commitment to bridging the employability gap, As an innovative and technologically driven company, I am delighted that with Arifu we have the opportunity to reach more job seekers and achieve our commitment to upskilling five million young Nigerians by 2025”

Craig Heintzman, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Arifu, explains “We’re proud to sign this deal with Jobberman and play a part in supporting 500,000 job seekers in Nigeria with access to new skills and  employment opportunities within the chat apps they use every day. Our partnership with Jobberman is a step towards a brighter future where everyone can be matched with meaningful work and a stable income .

For more information or interview requests, please contact communications@jobberman.com or info@arifu.com

About Jobberman

Founded in 2009, Jobberman is an online platform that provides training and placement for jobseekers, as well as the best selection of candidates for companies hiring. It is the single largest job placement website in sub-Saharan Africa and has the vision to become the leading source of talent in every market it operates in by simplifying job searching and talent acquisition; matching the right set of skills with employers needs. For more information about the online placement platform visit www.jobberman.com

About Arifu

Arifu is a smart chatbot making it possible for anyone to access information and opportunities for free from organizations they trust over any mobile phone. With Arifu, people seeking to learn can freely chat using interactive SMS or smartphone apps to master new skills, discover a world of free educational content, and earn rewards from our partners, without need for internet or airtime. The Arifu chatbot delivers personalized content designed in-house in close collaboration with our partners such as financial service providers, mobile operators, agribusinesses and NGOs. Arifu uses interactive SMS and smartphone messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to disseminate content to over 1.5 million trainees across Africa since 2015. For more information visit https://www.arifu.com

.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Useful Links

Subscribe

Join Our Mailing List and always be the first to know about what's going on with our organization.
© 2020 Arifu. All Rights Reserved
Categories
Partnerships Press

Partnership Announcement

With support from Google.org, Arifu partners with Praekelt.Org to promote the economic recovery of 500,000 micro and small businesses (MSMEs) in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa.  

Together Arifu and Praekelt.Org have created a suite of free interactive training and information to help MSMEs hit hard by COVID-19 navigate challenges to their business, stay up to date on regulatory changes, and access products and services that will support their recovery. 

By sending in the code SME” to Arifu’s SMS or Whatsapp channel, MSMEs are now able to chat with the Arifu Digital Adviser to access targeted digital trainings on:

  1. COVID-1 9 specific advice on health, finances, business, education, and stress management
  2. Digital literacy skills for business (adapted from GSMA’s Mobile Internet Skills Training Toolkit)
  3. Job seeking support tools
  4. Changing regulations relating to COVID-19 measures and re-opening
  5. Info and linkages to recovery products and services 

This free service will be provided to 500,000 low income MSMEs, employment seekers, and small-holder farmers across Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa with the objective to increase employment, increase income, and increase resilience to economic shock among beneficiaries. It will be available on Arifu’s Open Marketplace, accessible using interactive SMS and WhatsApp through an integration with Turn.io, an organisation incubated by Praekelt.org that helps social impact organisations have chat-based personal, guided conversations at scale that improve lives.

MSMEs can access their free economic recovery content by sending SME to 22744 on SMS or on Whatsapp +254 735 040081 in Kenya or sending Hi to +27 60 011 0110 on WhatsApp in South Africa. 

Craig Heintzman, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Arifu, explains “We’re proud to join forces with Google.org, Praekelt.Org and Turn.io to play a part in supporting the economic recovery of people impacted by this global pandemic. Governments, NGOs, and companies can now easily support the employment of job seekers and resilience of small businesses in their communities with this free chatbot-based learning content”.

Gustav Praekelt, Founder Praekelt.org and Turn.io said “We are excited to be using our Turn.io technology to provide actionable resources and training to learners and SMMEs across Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa during this challenging time. We chose to work with Arifu given their vast experience with learning content having trained over 1.5m learners in Kenya since they started so we’re very comfortable in their ability to deliver to the huge learner base out there”

“Google.org are very pleased to support Praekelt.org and Arifu joining efforts and together accelerating tech solutions helping SMMEs in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa through economic recovery.  We believe that  accessing information at no cost will be critical for beneficiaries to make informed decisions and sustain economic livelihoods” commented Liza Belozerova, Google.org Sub-Saharan Africa Lead.

About Arifu

Arifu is a smart chatbot making it possible for anyone to access information and opportunities for free from organizations they trust over any mobile phone. With Arifu, people seeking to learn can freely chat using interactive SMS or smartphone apps to master new skills, discover a world of free educational content, and earn rewards from our partners, without need for internet or airtime. The Arifu chatbot delivers personalized content designed in-house in close collaboration with our partners such as financial service providers, mobile operators, agribusinesses and NGOs. Arifu uses interactive SMS and smartphone messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to disseminate content to over 1.5 million trainees across Africa since 2015. For more information visit https://www.arifu.com

About Praekelt.Org and Turn.io

Emerging out of Praekelt.org’s decade of experience leveraging mobile technology to solve some of the world’s largest social problems, Turn.io helps social impact organisations have personal, guided conversations that improve lives at scale.

About Google.org

Google.org, Google’s philanthropy, supports nonprofits that address humanitarian issues and apply scalable, data-driven innovation to solving the world’s biggest challenges. We accelerate their progress by connecting them with a unique blend of support that includes funding, products, and technical expertise from Google volunteers. We engage with these believers-turned-doers who make a significant impact on the communities they represent, and whose work has the potential to produce meaningful change. We want a world that works for everyone—and we believe technology and innovation can move the needle.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Useful Links

Subscribe

Join Our Mailing List and always be the first to know about what's going on with our organization.
© 2020 Arifu. All Rights Reserved
Categories
Articles Partnerships

How to Maintain a Healthy Portfolio during Covid-19: Invest in your Customers

It has been a difficult year for most of us financially. The covid-19 pandemic has affected many businesses and has left many people furloughed, 30% or more reductions in pay or in some cases unpaid leave. The International Labour Organization, in a recent article, estimates that about 25 million people globally could become unemployed with the loss of income as high as USD 3.4 trillion globally. In Kenya alone, the labour ministry estimates a loss of 342,300 jobs since April with 133,657 of those being formal jobs and about half a  million employees  being sent on unpaid leave. 

Financial institutions are not immune to the adverse effects of this pandemic. Some of the pandemic aggravated challenges include:

  • low loan repayment rates from customers and reduced agent/customer relation due to mobility restrictions
  • policy changes leading to  reduced interest rates
  • restricted movement of field staff and agents 

Given these challenges, financial institutions are now pushed to rethink their strategies and find remote solutions using technology to overcome the adverse effects of business disruptions caused by Covid-19. To maintain a healthy loan portfolio, the financial service industry should consider supporting the financial wellbeing of their customers to reach a win-win. At Arifu, we have seen great success and ROI for our partners that are investing in building customer financial capacity.

A case in point is Arifu’s partnership with Vodacom in Tanzania, where MPawa users were provided with interactive mobile training via SMS on topics such as savings, loans and product knowledge. A study conducted by CGAP found that customers that accessed at least 10 messages in the Arifu training had:

  • 8x increase in savings deposits
  • 20% increase in average loan size
  • And 9 day sooner first payment of loans

To read more about this project, click here

Financial institutions can derive value from investing in the upskilling of their customers on topics such as adopting better financial management practices, diversifying their incomes and finding innovative ways to combat the economic disruptions caused by the pandemic at an individual and household level. The medium and long term outcome of promoting better financial management practices is seeing an increase in customer repayment rates and a healthier bottom line.

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Useful Links

Subscribe

Join Our Mailing List and always be the first to know about what's going on with our organization.
© 2020 Arifu. All Rights Reserved
Categories
Partnerships

COVID-19: a catalyst for collaborative innovation

By Osman Siddiqi

Observing COVID-19 is like trying to count stars

Recently, I was introduced to an analogy that described how difficult it was to fully grasp the likely scale of COVID-19 infections. The analogy compared COVID-19 to the stars. Strange, indeed. Though, this analogy works in two ways. First, we can only observe some of the stars in the universe regardless of whether we look up with our naked eye or peer through the most powerful telescopes. Despite immense technological advances in the past 100 years, we still cannot document all or even most of the stars in the universe. 

Second, when we look at the stars, we are always looking at the past as light travels minutes to years to touch upon our corneas. Similarly, observed tallies of COVID-19 are more often than not a reflection of infections that emerged in the past, whether by a few hours or by several days, and not a measure of the true number of cases at any point in time. 

Given that it is so difficult to observe the spread of the infection, it is difficult to comprehend the expected impacts on families, the economy, and health systems within and across countries. This, in turn, creates immense policy challenges and decisions for governments, particularly in allocating resources, and ensuring that residents are well-informed and behave optimally to look after themselves, their families, absolute strangers, and the healthcare system at large. 

Contextualizing information to increase relevance

We believe the information dispatched to the wider public needs to be further contextualized to the day-to-day problems households, small businesses, and food supply chains are facing, problems that will be exacerbated in the coming weeks, particularly in developing countries. In addition, this information needs to amplify and complement the efforts of locally-based organizations, whether they are networks of primary health services, skill-builders, or financial service providers (inter alia).

It has been said time and time again, interpreting social distancing is not a straightforward task. How do you ‘social distance’ when you reside in jam-packed residential areas or informal settlements? Or if you run a shop that provides basic goods that households need, without which you would force households to travel longer distances and limit their ability to (you guessed it) social distance? How about with the regular washing of hands when many developing countries still struggle to provide consistent access to water during even the best of times?

But it’s crucial to go further. COVID-19 is, of course, not just a health information issue. It brings to sharp relief the co-dependence our respective livelihoods have. Therefore, how do you ensure that farmers, small business owners, youth, women, and more have the right financial, structural, and emotional support structures in place? Lastly, and crucially, who should be delivering this information to them? Who do these individuals, households, and communities trust? 

Crisis-driven opportunities to innovate

COVID-19 is paradoxically, or perhaps expectedly, offering large and small companies alike a powerful incentive to innovate on existing business processes and integrate services with other companies more and more. We believe this is where Arifu can play a crucial role, particularly with our digital learning solution.

Arifu is a chatbot which currently serves 1.2m users through our digital learning platform. As a company, we work to identify relevant information, digitize, and dispatch user-friendly content to enable better informed decision-making for end users, or learners as we refer to them. The tools we provide can complement, integrate within, and amplify not just the response other organizations have during COVID-19, but can act as building blocks for how organizations learn and grow in the future. This vision is predicated on a few simple guiding principles:

  1. Approach the challenge COVID-19 presents through assisting multiple sectors. Recognizing that this is not just a health or mortality issue, but one that cuts across livelihoods, supply chains, crime, mental health, and empathy-led citizenry.
  2. Develop partnerships with trusted frontline services and digital infrastructure companies. This can non-exhaustively include healthcare networks, agribusinesses, financial service providers, telecommunication companies, and communications and payment API providers.
  3. Contextualize information on safety, risk, and innovation opportunities for learners. This is to make high level advice equitable and actionable in nature. For example, this could involve contextualizing social distancing messaging within communities or for creating actionable advice for micro and small enterprises on how to leverage new tools on the market like WhatsApp business or delivery platforms or how do you advise farming households navigate the trifecta of locusts, COVID-19, and increasing rainfall volatility.
  4. Deploy needed information and access to services through relevant, accessible, and user-friendly digital platforms free of cost to users. This is to ensure equal and easy access to equitably designed information and services.
  5. Rapidly learn and improve information as needed or demanded. Recognizing that perfect is the enemy of the good, but that excellence in service should always be sought and iterated towards.
  6. Focus on building tools that will continue to drive value for partners and learners for the longer term as the crisis subsides. Digital platforms need to be nimble in their design to allow for adaptation to differing needs. This will allow for scalability across geographies, population segments, and downstream over time.

To make this vision a reality, we have published a call for partnerships to rapidly amplify responses to COVID-19 across sectors and build innovative, resilient solutions and services for small businesses, farmers, health service providers, and supply chains, as we emerge from the crisis. The document describes how these partnerships can work step by step starting from how partner expertise leads to content creation, Arifu digital design, infrastructure, and quality assurance digitizes the content, subsequent to which the content is launched for those who use the partner’s services and those on Arifu’s platform, and how the research questions and methods are co-developed. Subsequently, we measure engagement rates, jointly pursue co-defined research methods, and inform each other’s operations.

The pandemic has introduced an unprecedented challenge for how we engage with each other, our health systems, and how we structure the building blocks of our economies. Unprecedented challenges require us all to be innovative and to charge forward with all the creativity we can muster. And while it may sound cliche, unprecedented challenges compel us to shoot for the stars.

Share on facebook
SHARE
Share on twitter
SHARE
Share on linkedin
SHARE

Useful Links

Subscribe

Join Our Mailing List and always be the first to know about what's going on with our organization.
© 2020 Arifu. All Rights Reserved
Categories
Life At Arifu Partnerships

Data Hub Visioning

By Osman Siddiqi

Attending day long (or multi-day) long conferences and workshops can create a feeling of cautious uncertainty. The promise for such events is often about facilitating thoughtful collaboration and meaningful networking, identifying new knowledge, capabilities, or talent which otherwise may be missed, and, in effect, learn from and get inspired by like-yet-differently-minded individuals from really cool organizations. Rarely do conferences succeed at fulfilling these promises. 

At the Data Hub Visioning Workshop, held at the Radisson Blu in Nairobi, this experience manifested in spades.

Arifu, will be part of the implementing cohort attempting to reach farmers digitally with training content on drought-resistant Irish potatoes and poultry. The workshop was engaging, interactive, and highly collaborative in nature. We had the opportunity to meet with agronomists, digital advisory firms, public data product developers, as well as innovative policy-makers (such as Director Boniface Akuku of KALRO). This helped considerably elucidate the variety of thinking, shared goals, and possible pathways to achieve those goals in a highly productive manner. 

Organized by KALRO, MercyCorps, the World Bank , and Dalberg, the goal of the workshop was to bring in all relevant stakeholders under the One Million Farmer project to identify (in my own words): 

Vision and possibilities:

  • What data exists publicly and within institutions?
  • What data needs exist across institutions?
  • What data are institutions willing to share and in what format?
  • How can data-based collaborations drive improvements in operations and, hopefully in effect, improvements in the lives of farmers? 

Challenges and the creation of a roadmap

  • What concerns institutions have in sharing that data?
  • What are the risks associated with sharing that data to farmers and institutions? 
  • How can those concerns be alleviated?
  • How can personally identifiable data on farmers be protected?
  • What is the efficient path forward?

If successful in creating a data ecosystem, several efficiencies in product design and development, as well as individual organization hesitations in data-sharing, could be tackled. That said…

There’s lots of data on the demand for data

At Arifu, we’re big fans of problem, theory, and evidence-driven approaches to the design of solutions which can be scaled through market forces. The subset of what we know, what problems farmers face, what they demand, what data we have or data we can get, and ultimately, what we are capable of building and driving at scale offers the best possible solution design. To answer some of these questions we are dependent on leveraging existing data ecosystems, creating our own, and actively sharing analytics with our partners. This effort needs to go further in at least recognizing the following ways:

Continuously listening to farmers: rapidly changing agricultural context due to climate change begs us to be more agile in our design and testing of solutions along planting cycles for crops. In addition, it forces us to think about solutions that can adapt to the annual weather volatility stemming from climate change. Farmer voices across crops and rapid just-in-time data must complement the history of research in the design of solutions. 

Academic findings: summarized findings from the reams of academic research would add immense value to stakeholders if packaged correctly. As such, these summaries should not solely focus on the p-values and effect sizes on key outcomes of interest, which while immensely important, are hardly the sole value-addition of publicly available research. The summaries should highlight interim metrics through a program’s theory of change (for example, not just yield, but behavior change), the drivers and inhibitors of these measures (for example, what types of behavior change were associated with metrics of interest), and what might be ways to improve intended outcomes cost-efficiently and at scale given what the research has learned. Simply put, why did something work or not work and what can we do to improve outcomes at scale? 

(One example of a great summary is here. The powerful insights here still require probing, iterative experiments to understand how to operationalize the ideas, and creativity in solving the identified problems, but they are highly informative pieces.)

More is not necessarily better: the two efforts above should inform what data, with what quality, at what specificity, and at what frequency is necessary to drive results for farmers. Not all data is equal or necessary. Data that is demanded by our research teams is not necessarily going to solve farmer problems. In other words, it is quite easy to come up with machine learning-driven predictive algorithms through swathes of data, but it is difficult to create relevant and riskless solutions for the farming household. 

Don’t get us wrong, we love data!

Arifu believes that access to relevant information is a fundamental freedom for all people and it is a promise that has yet to be fulfilled by the advent of the World Wide Web. We also believe that engagement with our learners at scale with relevant information should improve the median learner’s decision-making capability and quality of life. Because of this, throughout our operations and research, we put our learners’ voices, our partners, and relevant data as central to our design and scale strategy. 

At Arifu, we’re excited to see how we can further drive quality of life improvements for farmers directly and by amplifying the impact of our public and private sector partners through partnerships like the One Million Farmer project, by leveraging existing research, actively listening to farmers to inform our design, and using the right data.

Share on facebook
SHARE
Share on twitter
SHARE
Share on linkedin
SHARE

Useful Links

Subscribe

Join Our Mailing List and always be the first to know about what's going on with our organization.
© 2020 Arifu. All Rights Reserved