Grit & Growth | Communicating Your Big Idea | Summary and Q&A

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October 8, 2021
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Stanford Graduate School of Business
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Grit & Growth | Communicating Your Big Idea

TL;DR

Brastorne Enterprises, led by CEO Martin Stimela, is using innovative technology to provide affordable Internet access to marginalized populations in Africa through feature phones.

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Key Insights

  • 🔆 Access to the internet is considered a luxury rather than a basic right in many parts of Africa, where broadband prices are high.
  • 📱 Brastorne's focus on feature phones is crucial, as 77% of mobile phone users in Africa use such phones. This enables them to reach a larger population and bridge the digital divide.
  • 💁 The company's mAgri platform caters to the unique needs of smallholder farmers by providing crucial agricultural information, market prices, and even additional services like health and legal information.

Transcript

[MUSIC] Attention is our most precious commodity that we have in the world today. It's more valuable than Bitcoin, more valuable than GameStop stock. >> As an entrepreneur whether you're pitching investors, hiring talent, speaking to board members or selling to customers, you have to be able to communicate your big idea. >> It is critical that we g... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How does Brastorne enable underserved communities to access the Internet without smartphones or data plans?

Brastorne uses technologies like USSD and voice prompts to provide access to information. Users can dial a short code on their feature phones and access a dedicated knowledge base for farming, social media, chat platforms, and more.

Q: Who are the primary beneficiaries of Brastorne's services?

Brastorne's primary beneficiaries are smallholder farmers in rural areas who previously had limited access to information and markets. The company's mAgri platform provides them with essential agricultural knowledge, helping them improve their crop yields and connect to buyers.

Q: What is Brastorne's growth strategy?

Brastorne aims to expand its services to 19 African countries within the next two to three years. They are currently scaling their operations in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Guinea, and Mali. The company is seeking funding to accelerate their growth and pivot into other areas, such as financial services.

Q: How does Brastorne differentiate itself from competitors in the market?

Brastorne differentiates itself by providing a comprehensive solution that goes beyond specific niches like mobile money or agriculture. They partner with mobile networks to offer internet services through USSD, allowing users to access a range of applications such as Wikipedia and social chats.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Brastorne Enterprises enables underserved communities in Africa to connect to the Internet without the need for data plans or smartphones. They use technologies like USSD and voice prompts to provide access to information, markets, and social communities.

  • The company's solution, mAgri, caters specifically to smallholder farmers, providing them with access to vital information on crop prices, recommended prices for selling, crop types, buyers, and more.

  • With over 1 million users in Botswana and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Brastorne is expanding to other African countries like Cameroon, Ethiopia, Guinea, and Mali. They are seeking partners and investors to support their growth and bridge the digital divide.

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