It is no secret that women are behind men when it comes to digital skills and is less likely to have their businesses online compared to their male counterparts. To close this gap, however, Computing Palace Technologies, an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) firm that specializes in software development, is introducing “Her Duuka”, a web-based e-commerce platform that will enable women to post and sell their products online.
According to Felix Balitumye, the Team Lead at Computing Palace Technologies, this will enable women businesses, the majority of which have been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the resultant lockdowns, to thrive.
Balitumye says that the majority of women-led micro and small businesses have since collapsed due to failure to adapt to electronic commerce because of a lack of digital skills among their proprietors. Over the past few months, the firm has been teaching businesses digital skills to enable them to use digital channels to market and sell their products.
“We noticed that many businesses had not adopted so much social media and other digital platforms to do business. But after holding a session with them and showing them how their businesses can evolve, they have adopted,” says Balitumye.
“We are not only teaching these women digital skills, but we are also enabling them to adapt by selling their goods online. Whoever will be allowed to create an account on this platform must have been trained.”
This, he says, will also help boost financial inclusion as the women-business owners will only receive their payments through mobile money.
While the Her Duuka platform will primarily be free for all women, Balitumye says that they might consider charging a small subscription fee in the future for sustainability purposes.
This is the latest of a number of innovations by Computing Palace Technologies which deals in a range of ICT-oriented services including software development, development of financial products, websites design and hosting services, ICT consultancy, internship training, and customized ICT training.
Over the years, the firm has developed different management systems including Sacco management, School management, Hospital management, and Church management systems, among others to enable them to operate more efficiently.
40-Days 40 FinTechs
Computing Palace Technologies is among the participants in the second edition of the 40-days-40-FinTechs initiative, organized by HiPipo under its Include EveryOne program, in partnership with Crosslake Tech, ModusBox, and Mojaloop.
Balitumye commended HiPipo for the initiative, saying that it has opened its doors to new partnerships and also broadened its perspective towards financial inclusion and interoperability, which have been integrated into its systems development.
Being a gender-centric firm, however, Balitumye says there is a need for enhanced collaboration and support to bridge the current gender gap in the industry.
The HiPipo Chief Executive Officer Innocent Kawooya alludes that the second edition of the #40Days40FinTechs will showcase the best of the multitude of solutions and products one can think of in the digital space.
“We expect examples of innovations and brands operating in this space and also use this chance to learn, at no cost, from probably the most knowledgeable pool of global FinTech experts that are all scheduled to present this year,” he said.
Kawooya adds that FinTech in Africa offers attractive opportunities and that investors are rightfully picking interest in the various startups that are offering a plethora of services, ranging from payments and lending, remittances, cross-border transfers, and neobanks, among others.