Photo by Dominic Chavez / World Bank · flic.kr/p/vzh7kN
Without a bank account or internet access, the poorest of the South African population have little chance of getting access to important services, such as electricity and water.
With “Lula” the South-African start-up Nomanini has developed a business model which focuses on the poorest.
The model’s centrepiece is a small orange plastic box, perfectly adapted to African market conditions. The box is mobile, stable and easy to handle. It is used as a mobile sales station for prepaid vouchers. The vouchers can be redeemed in return for free minutes for electricity, water and phone call credits – exactly as much as they can afford, and all without a bank account or internet access.
Using the Lula box, vouchers can be sold everywhere: on the street, in a minibus or on the market. Thanks to this “business in a box” numerous micro-enterprises are created. A box costs 150 Euro and the salespersons receives a commission from Nomanini. The start-up earns money from the transaction fees charged per transaction. 2017, Nomanini has more than 1,000 active terminals in South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Mozambique and Ghana and handles approximately one million transactions per month.