White House Visit with WomensConnect

Grassroots Economics Director, Caroline Dama, visited the White House on Wednesday as a finalist in the WomensConnect USAID program

Our aim is to empower women to take charge of their economic future through the creation of community currencies.

Grassroots Economics seeks to provide stable markets to Women’s groups in Kenya through women owned and operated community currency systems, which will connect thousands of female small scale business traders in rural and peri-urban areas, backstopped by a solar and mobile technology.

By and large the promise of a better future for women through the technological revolution has been mere hype at best, with a few exceptions. Women are prevented from accessing and utilizing the technologies available in their communities due to; environmental barriers such as lack of access to electricity, lack of money to purchase internet bundles, a lack of personal and/or community ownership of infrastructure, and insufficient leadership for appropriate implementation of digital systems. The growth of the mobile industry has been led and driven by the spending power of men, in particular general relational needs to communicate and socialize, not as an educational or empowerment tool.

This revolutionary program will be piloted in partnership with Bancor Foundation; to create community based digital currencies with trading credit offered for all women’s group members. This will be the starting point for duplicating this program throughout East Africa and beyond. The open source model, software, and training will be translated into different languages for distribution throughout the developing world where women share the same challenges. Each community can select its own information and applications to be hosted on the walled garden server so every woman has the potential to access the education she needs in her context free of charge, along with the digital currency to make trades.

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