Turning Challenges into Opportunities - Outreach to women-led MSMEs in rural communities
Being aware of the logistical challenges encountered in connecting women MSMEs in rural communities directly with an online marketing platform, the Accelerator Lab partnered with Bas Baladi, a non-profit organization that markets women and small farmers’ food products. Bas Baladi’s existing network will support Yummy.ps with the logistics, especially for sourcing small quantities, allowing better outreach to vulnerable women-led MSMEs in rural communities. Moreover, Bas Baladi will help Yummy.ps avoid any loopholes in the quality of commodities delivered by running quality checks and advising women MSMEs on ways to improve the quality of their products based on customer feedback and ratings.
Based on customer traction and feedback, the Accelerator lab will explore with the women-led MSMEs and Yummy.ps how to strengthen women’s competitiveness, enhance their marketing and ICT skills, and access to financial services to efficiently manage business transactions on the platform. The results of this experiment would also spur Yummy.ps to conduct more rigorous market research to see if any adjustments need to be introduced to their business model to achieve greater efficiency of platform operation and mutual benefit.
Access to e-payment and fees
The use of online payments by Palestinians remains limited. For years, the government along with civil society organizations, have been at the forefront driving the expansion for the use of e-payments to address financial inclusion and work with local e-payment service providers to reduce transaction fees. Access to international payment gateways is also very restricted due to the unstable political situation. PayPal, the most globally recognized digital platform for transferring money in the world, does not offer its services to Palestinians despite it working in over 200 countries including those with political conflicts.
Through this experiment, the Accelerator Lab will be testing whether customers of Yummy.ps will pay-in-advance using local e-payment solutions like (a) PalPay- the first Palestinian multi-channel e-payment service provider established by the Bank of Palestine- and (b) Jawwal Pay- an integrated e-wallet solution established in 2019 by the largest Palestinian mobile network provider. the Accelerator Lab will gauge whether reduced transaction fees announced lately by PalPay and the new e-wallet of Jawwal Pay might encourage more online customers to pay-in-advance instead of cash-on-delivery.
In the second phase of this experiment, and upon successful adoption of e-payment by Yummy.ps, we will test the establishment of market linkages between women-led MSMEs and the Palestinian diaspora by selling readily-made “taste of Palestine” kits, gifts for their families in the State of Palestine or donations to families living in poverty.
Scaling up the digital solution
Mainstreaming digital solutions into women’s businesses and access to virtual marketplaces will not only empower Palestinian women-led MSMEs and help them flourish and grow their clienteles’ base. It will also support their resilience, especially in the context of political instability that usually results in a series of closures and restrictions on the movement of people and goods, impacting the operation of businesses.