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    Date submitted
  • 08-Aug-2018
    Categories
  • IT

miKashBoks

Abstract

MiKashboks is a goal-oriented soft commitment savings platform aiming to enhance financial and food security for small-holder farmers in Sierra Leone, a marginalized group accounting for 66% of the country's population. mikashBoks enables farmers to save via mobile money during harvest & market seasons in order to purchase crop inputs through e-vouchers at the next growing season, voluntarily binding and nudging them to reach particular predefined goals of inputs needed. It is an easy to use, free, safe and rewards-based system where farmers have only to gain by using miKashBoks, from interest on saved amount, to better quality seeds, discounted prices on inputs and better yield.

Video

Original Vimeo URL: Open

Introduction Video

Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

Smallholder farmers across Sierra Leone

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

miKashBoks aims to alleviate the challenges stemming from the inherent characteristics of “Present-Bias” among smallholder farmers, a characteristic whose consequences are exaggerated given the long periods of relatively little income between the market season and growing season that further forces the farmer to prioritize today’s desires and needs over tomorrow’s and as a result systematically failing to make choices that will benefit them in future. By promoting a savings culture and sensitizing farmers about the benefits of making small but regular savings and about the benefits of using good quality inputs, miKashBoks will help improve farmers' yield and food security and diminish their reliance on government subsidies and INGO aids.

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

- miKashBoks is much safer than any community based saving scheme that farmers are currently using; - It is free to use or withdraw from; - It is very accessible, it does not require internet connection or smart phone, as it uses USSD and SMS messages; - Employs already existing services and structures such as Mobile Money agents network, input selling agents, leaders of farming associations. - Uses GAP SMS messages and automated voice calls to nudge and remind users to make deposits regularly; - Uses gamification and behavioral science to attract new users and promote good saving behavior; - Facilitates timely access to market via its geo-location feature.

Explain how you (your team) will execute to make this idea/product successful? What gives you (your team) an advantage over others already in the market or new to this market?

The miKashBoks team exhibit a good mix of technical skills, project management skills and agricultural knowledge and expertise. Our four team members have in total 30 years of work experience in developing FinTech products, launching and managing services and building local capability while engaging with key stakeholders.