The latest recipe for lifting people out of poverty is mobile communication. Mobile technology holds great promise in delivering information and forming networks for people who live in remote rural areas, where they struggling everyday with the scarcity of resource as well as information.
Soko, a 3-year-old startup with its HQs in Nairobi, Kenya, has brought mobile technology into the realm of fashion, and connected a vast network of distributed artisans from the bottom of the pyramid to the global consumer market.
As mobile phones become pervasive in the developing world, Soko is able to deliver real-time market feedback to over 1,000 artisans in Kenya.
Once poor and marginalized, these artisans are now creating fashion jewelry in the most sought- after designs across the world, all independently and yet in a concerted manner.
Soko calls its model "Ethical Fast Fashion", in the sense that it provides customers with ethically produced jewelry that are both trendy and affordable.
Even better, as all this happens, artisans increase their incomes by 4 times on average within 2 months of joining Soko.