ARED, the Rwandan service startup that is famous for its ‘smart Business in a Box solar-powered kiosks, has branched out to Uganda. It has recently set up 10 solar-powered kiosks that will be run by 10 women micro franchisees in the country.
The kiosks, also known as Shiriki Hubs, are run by women and different physically challenged individuals on a micro franchisee model. It enables low-income citizens who do not have access to electricity, internet etc to charge their devices, purchase airtime, make digital payments, buy Wi-Fi connectivity and other intranet services offline.
The platform was founded in 2013, as a Service company based in Rwanda. They developed a Smart Business in a Box solar kiosk, app and software platform that empowers mostly women and the physically challenged through a micro-franchise business model. They offer key services such as internet WiFi, intranet solutions for offline users, and phone charging services.
Their app offers additional services like airtime, mobile money, prepaid electricity, and tax payment. Some of their intranet networks include branding capabilities for companies, data collection, and user analytics.
The kiosks in Uganda are located around Kampala and the refugee camps of Arua district. The expansion was funded by US-based impact investor ‘Gray Matters Capital’. ARED has about 48 kiosks in Rwanda, and intend to grow to their franchisees to about a hundred and about 3000 customers a month by 2020. They presently have a customer base of 55,000 people in Rwanda and Uganda.
Henri Nyakarundi – Founder and CEO, ARED Group said they will work with partners, NGOs and private sector enterprises. The partners will be referred to as area developers and they will launch the ARED model in the different areas of Uganda.
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