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Launching the next phase of the Mobenzi pilot
June 18, 2010  |  by Mark  |  Features, Homepage, Pilot Project, Press  |  , , ,
On May 26th we invited some representatives from the press to the launch of the next phase of our Mobenzi pilot project in KwaNyuswa (Valley of a thousand hills, KZN).
During our two week trial run in December 2009, agents had completed Mobenzi tasks using our company owned phones, under supervision and together at a central location. Since May 26th however, a group of agents have been working independently as private contractors to Mobenzi.
These are some of the major factors that make the launch of this phase of the pilot a significant step forward.
1. Agents work in their own time, requesting batches of tasks whenever they have a few minutes spare.
2. They complete tasks while at home, travelling on public transport or even between lectures at college.
3. Most of the agents are using their own mobile phones after having installed the Mobenzi application from a link we sent to them.
4. With each task that agent’s complete, associated credit is built up in their account. Once credit reaches a certain thresh-hold, funds are disbursed electronically to their phones using FNB’s SendMoney platform. Although some agents had to borrow our company phones, many have earned enough income from Mobenzi to purchase their own, brand new compatible Nokia phones.
These changes in the way the pilot is being run are allowing us to test the scalability of the concept. We can now manage recruitment of new agents, assignment of tasks, monitoring of quality and disbursement of funds all from our central office. With this platform in place, it is only the demand from businesses for the services of our agents that will slow the growth of Mobenzi.
Some of the agents had a lot to say about Mobenzi and what it means to them.
Nokuthula Njoko said that she feels empowered by being involved with Mobenzi.
“It helps me focus on the work I’m doing, knowing that for each task I complete I will be paid. I’ve learnt to be a critical thinker and enjoy the challenge of learning new words and abbreviations in different languages and in business terms. I’ve even made myself a book where I write down all the words I don’t understand, then later find their meanings. Mobenzi has given me employment, empowerment and an education in the business world”.
Civil engineering student, Trevor Ngcobo said being a Mobenzi agent enables him to study and still work at his own leisure.
“I never have to worry about transport problems, being late for work or not having time to attend college. I can make money, study and even do my Mobenzi tasks in a taxi on my way to lectures. It’s helped me in more ways than I thought when I first started”.
Msizi Phewa relishes in the fact that he can tell his peers that he ‘works on the internet and analyses data’.
“It makes me feel so important when I tell people that I work with analysing information from social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. And because it’s something you can do in your spare time and you are paid for it, your mind is not focused on distractions of drugs, alcohol and hanging out with unproductive and negative people on the streets. I want the world to eventually be plugged into Mobenzi so that we can have an entire planet of productive people”.
It is awesome to hear such positive feedback from agents, especially when referring to some of the benefits they are realising that we had never considered.

On May 26th we invited some representatives from the press to the launch of the next phase of our Mobenzi pilot project in KwaNyuswa (Valley of a thousand hills, KZN).

During our two week trial run in December 2009, agents had completed Mobenzi tasks using our company owned phones, under supervision and together at a central location. Since May 26th however, a group of agents have been working independently as private contractors to Mobenzi.

These are some of the major factors that make the launch of this phase of the pilot a significant step forward.

  1. Agents are now working in their own time, requesting batches of tasks whenever they have a few minutes spare.
  2. They complete tasks while at home, travelling on public transport or even between lectures at college.
  3. Most of the agents are using their own mobile phones after having installed the Mobenzi application from a link we sent to them.
  4. With each task that agent’s complete, associated credit is built up in their account. Once credit reaches a certain thresh-hold, funds are disbursed electronically to their phones using FNB’s SendMoney platform. Although some agents had to borrow our company phones, many have already earned enough income from Mobenzi to purchase their own, brand new compatible Nokia phones.

These changes in the way the pilot is being run are allowing us to test the scalability of the concept. We can now manage recruitment of new agents, assignment of tasks, monitoring of quality and disbursement of funds all from our central office.

With this platform in place, it is only the demand from businesses for the services of our agents that will slow the growth of Mobenzi.



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