The Praekelt.org Incubator for Free Basics, a tool to support organisations and developers building for the Free Basics Platform, has announced over half of the selected applicants and the first ten of its live sites.
Launched at AfricaCom in November 2015, the partnership between Praekelt.org and Facebook supports developers and social change organisations in their efforts to build accessible online services designed mostly by and for people living in the developing world. The Praekelt.org Incubator for Free Basics has received thousands of applications since the Programme was announced, and over 50 partners have been selected by an external independent international selection panel following a rigorous evaluation process.
The organisations that have been accepted cover sectors including health, economic empowerment, youth, gender equity, agriculture, citizen engagement, and education, and are based in different regions of Africa and Asia. Many of these organizations do not have the technical background to take advantage of the Free Basics program. Through Praekelt.org’s training, technical tools and support, many smaller as well as local organizations have successfully become part of the Free Basics Platform.
A few of the partners now live on Free Basics through the help of the Incubator include:
She Inspires Her, an organization aimed to inspire aspiring entrepreneurs and promote small but growing women-owned businesses on the African continent.
HelpMeSee which eradicates preventable blindness caused by cataracts.
Edukayson, a site in the Philippines working towards zero unemployment through helping young people plan their education for careers.
Da Subject Matter, part of Planned Parenthood and based in Nigeria.
African Trust Academy inspires and educates people by providing financial education and fin-ed based credit scoring to increase financial inclusion.
WeFarm aims to help farmers to improve their lives with increased access to information from animal husbandry and planting to fertilisation and harvesting crops.
doctHERs connects women by aiming to influence health-seeking behaviour and improving their health and ultimately transforming lives.
Vahan.co makes education more accessible and effective for low-income populations for the purpose of enhancing their employability.
We Dream Africa delivers engaging African-themed entertaining ebooks.
Applicants appreciated and saw value in the training and tool. “Being selected to participate in the Praekelt Incubator has been an incredible opportunity. We’re a small social enterprise and have bootstrapped all our initiatives to date so it’s been a huge boost to access the platform and receive highly responsive technical support to enable us to get our content into the hands of those who needs it most – entrepreneurial women with little to no internet access who need support in starting and growing businesses.” shared Lisa O’Donoghue-Lindy, Founder of She Inspires Her.
“Around the world, young people are paving the way for all of our futures. They need our help to grow into the healthiest generation ever,” said Latanya Mapp Frett, Executive Director, Planned Parenthood Global. “Global Mobile gives them what they need: information on relationships, their bodies and their health. And the Free Basics platform is the perfect tool to make sure that information is accessible, no matter where they happen to live.”
With the Free Basics platform Facebook has brought free basic internet services to people in more than 45 countries on more than 60 mobile operators. Praekelt Group Founder and CEO, Gustav Praekelt said: “Praekelt believes that access to essential information and basic services is a human right. When people have access to the tools and knowledge that the internet and other digital communication technologies provide, they have access to opportunities that will make their lives better. We are proud to announce our first successful Praekelt.org Incubator for Free Basics partners and are excited to see the Program grow in the coming months.”
The Praekelt.org Incubator for Free Basics is open to any organization dedicated to social change. Applications are still being accepted, and Praekelt.org is committed to launching 100 sites by the end of the year. Interested organisations can visit the site and apply.