Digitalizing Local Business to Increase Economic Success: The Gambia

Digitalizing Local Business to Increase Economic Success: The Gambia

Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The YMCA hopes to create a portal that will advertise local women vendors to publicize their products, prices and locations through an effort of women helping women.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

We are trying to solve the technology barrier between a generation of women that has not been educated in IT development and computer use. These women can use computers and technology as a resource as vendors and in markets that would otherwise be much less accessible. The gender and economic divide that separates them from technology is one in which they can grow and can benefit them greatly in their fields.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

We will create a web portal, managed by women at the YMCA to help educate, empower and increase the economic success of women vendors in The Gambia, maybe someday on a broader scope. This web portal will serve as a meeting place, a discussion board, and a place for consumers to research the goods being sold by women in their area. Sellers can submit their location, examples of their goods and via mobile phone, and buyers can locate them through the help of the portal. This will help women increase their sales and adapt to the ever-changing digital lifestyle. By appearing online, shoppers can compare prices and support local women from their local community. Because the website will be managed by women at the YMCA Computer Training Center, it will be a women-helping-women system and empower local businesswomen to understand the importance of technology.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The web page will not only help publicize the goods of these women, but put them on the map as legitimate vendors and businesspeople. The web portal will help connect them to other women, help them realize that they are worthy of official status, and educate them regarding the ever-evolving computer world. By using their cell phones, a product available to most Gambian women, they will be able to connect with people whom they otherwise would never have been able to reach out to. Our primary activities will have to include advertising and publicizing the site so that women are aware of the resource. It will also include training and gathering of statistical information regarding the market we are targeting, information that is currently unavailable.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are no competitors here. It is an untapped market and a need that is sufficient and unrecognized.

Founding Story

As an American visitor in The Gambia volunteering and interning for the summer, the amount of gender inequality here has been astonishing to me. While many men own their own stores, women sell the majority of their goods on the street and in markets. Although I recognize this is a cultural difference and the market-sellers are also very profitable, the tourists (which here, serve a very large portion in certain seasons) are unaware of the amazing goods they can get in a variety of areas from these women as opposed to the more overpriced, less fresh and less interesting super markets. These women can be publicized for both locals and visitors in order to increase their success and improve customer satisfaction. Locals can keep track of their produce, and visitors can get the true Gambian experience while elevating women's equality and economic impact.
About You
YMCA The Gambia
About You
About Your Organization
Organization Name

YMCA The Gambia

Organization Country

, KA

Country where this project is creating social impact
Age of Innovator


Gender of Innovator


How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

Has the organization received awards or honors? Please tell us about them

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How long have you been in operation?

Still in idea phase, but looking to launch soon

Which of the following best describes the barrier(s) your innovation addresses? Choose up to two

Access, Equity.

Social Impact
What solution(s) does your initiative address to better the lives of girls and women by leveraging technology? (select all applicable)

Access to technology, Access to economic opportunity.

What has been the impact of your solution to date?

The project has not begun yet, so there has been no impact to date.

What is your projected impact over the next 1-3 years?

Over the next 1-3 years, we hope to develop the site into a well-known resource in The Gambia, paving the way for a potential future in other developing countries, specifically in West Africa. We hope to get the word out to local woman vendors, craftswomen and women in the markets to encourage them to get involved in this new resource.

What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?

Although many women in The Gambia do have access to phones, many may not. For this reason, we will give them the ability to come into the YMCA to discuss their products with us, and we will help them upload their information onto the portal. Women may also be nervous or anxious regarding the use of technology, so by having women serve women, as women update and manage the portal, we hope to encourage their accessibility and willingness to get involved, through mutual understanding and a higher comfort level.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

Up to 200 women using and accessing the portal

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your six-month milestone
Task 1

Designing the portal and creating it online

Task 2

Training staff to keep the portal constantly up to date and efficient

Task 3

Advertising and publicizing the portal

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

Expanding into other West African countries

Identify three major tasks you will have to complete to reach your 12-month milestone
Task 1

Get involved with other organizations (YMCA's, womens' rights centers, etc.)

Task 2

Contact computer centers willing to donate time or resources to manage the site in other countries

Task 3

Advertise and publicize the portal in other countries

Tell us about your partnerships

We do not have partnerships yet but we will be looking to create them as soon as we can get this project off the ground.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren't specified within the list