Since 2015 in Uganda, UNCDF has been driving digital financial inclusion with a focus on agriculture value chains. UNCDF works with private sector players to drive digital financial products and services in the hard-to-reach areas , providing both technical assistance and grants to de-risk innovative projects.
The Digital Community Entrepreneur (DCE) model is one of the innovative business models by UNCDF to reach last mile populations in a sustainable way. The model is premised on using young farmers with high business acumen and a support management structure to improve digital and financial literacy. DCEs sell products such as phones, airtime, data top-ups as well as mobile money services in their communities on which they earn a commission. In addition, the DCEs work as role models or peer educators tasked with training and supporting farmers in the use of new digital solutions.
By driving the uptake of digital financial services, the usage of other digital innovations and digital literacy, the model contributes to increased farm productivity, improved farm management, access to energy, improved access to markets, and consequently increased incomes for rural farmers.
Read about the lessons learned from the pilot of this model in this publication.