Launching the BRAC Innovation Fund for Mobile Money Bangladesh is the fastest-growing mobile money market in the world, and BRAC sees an opportunity here to develop innovations for poverty reduction, better service delivery, and expanded financial inclusion. After an open challenge for ideas, BRAC selected seven ideas that utilised mobile money in new ways for piloting. These included digitalising school fee payments, microfinance services, payments to extension workers, and fundraising. BRAC has integrated research into these projects to capture gains in efficiency, client satisfaction, and other important considerations about scaling these initiatives.

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7 ways BRAC will innovate with mobile money this year

June 1, 2014 by  and 

We are excited to officially announce the winners of the innovation fund for mobile money challenge! These projects were selected from the 100 ideas that were submitted on the innovation fund challenge web site, reviewed by external advisors, and finally decided on by an internal judging panel. These projects will be implemented over the course of the next year by BRAC in Bangladesh—so stay tuned for many more updates!

  1. (Nearly) cashless branch: This pilot undertaken by the integrated development programme is a move towards creating cashless BRAC branches in the remote char areas (riverine islands created and destroyed by floods and erosion). Given the transportation challenges and limited access to financial services in these areas, mobile money will make it easier for both BRAC clients and staff.
  2. Mobile micro-insurance: Most of BRAC’s clients lack access to traditional forms of insurance. Through a joint collaboration, the microfinance programme and outsider partners will offer micro-insurance with low, flexible premiums using mobile technology to poor households. It will offer protection for incidents like accidents and illnesses.
  3. Flexible school fee payments for secondary schools: Paying school fees can be a challenge for low-income parents. To address this, the BRAC University Institute of Educational Development will introduce a flexible payment scheme using bKash at the SSCOPE low-cost secondary schools. Parents can pay without needing to come to the school premises each time.
  4. Adolescent savings: To encourage savings behaviour among adolescent girls and provide easy access to safe savings, the education programme will work with their adolescent clubs to encourage the habit of mobile savings among its youth club members. Adoption of technology is higher among youth, so this can drive adoption and create a lifetime savings habit.

    ADP Club

    Young women participate in a kishori or adolescent club. photo credit: BRAC/Shehzad Noorani

  5. Mobile payments for community health workers: This initiative by health, nutrition and population programme will look to improve operational efficiency, transparency and security by integrating mobile money instead of cash to disburse honorariums and incentives to thousands of workers.
  6. Relief vouchers for disaster victims: When a disaster strikes, the most important thing is ensuring that the most vulnerable can access relief as soon as possible. To respond to this need, the disaster, environment and climate change programme will develop a mobile voucher system that enables clients to directly access goods from local businesses, who will be reimbursed via mobile money by BRAC.

    Damages as the result of  tidal water and a landslide in the Bandarban area of Bangladesh. photo credit: BRAC

    Damages as the result of  tidal water and a landslide in the Bandarban area of Bangladesh. photo credit: BRAC

  7. Mobile disaster relief funds: For disasters like evictions, garment factory fires, and floods it is difficult to mobilise funds quickly, even though many would like to donate. The disaster, environment and climate change programme will set up a simple donation platform that enables them to send money via their mobile phones. This idea originated from a university student in Chittagong.

All of the authors work with the BRAC social innovation lab.

- See more at:

BRAC's Innovation Fund for Mobile Money

Do you have a great idea on how BRAC can use mobile money? The 2nd challenge is happening now -share your idea today! 

Read this blog in Forbes about the Innovation Fund! 


The BRAC Innovation Fund for Mobile Money aims to increase innovation in mobile money through seeding a diverse set of projects and preparing the organisation to adopt mobile money at scale. This project is a unique three-year partnership between the BRAC Social Innovation Lab and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

We hope to enable the poor to better understand and access mobile money. We plan to develop new services and products that mobile money makes possible. Finally, we hope to find opportunities to improve organisational efficiency.

Many organisations around the world are also working are these issues. While the potential for financial inclusion is promising, the pathway remains unclear, especially when thinking about how to empower millions. We want to learn as much as possible about mobile money use. Last year we invited leading mobile money experts to participate in our Frugal I.... We are capturing the lessons of our innovation fund projects and we plan to share what we have learned and assist others. 



What we are doing

After winning our innovation challenge, the following seven ideas were selected and are being piloted.





(nearly) Cashless branch

Integrated Development Programme

 In a remote area, digitailising the majority of client and staff services, such as loan repayment and staff allowances

Micro-insurance for borrowers and their families

Microfinance Programme

When clients take out a new loan, they have the option to purchase insurance, such as credit shielding, through mobile money.

Flexible school fee payments

Institute of Educational Development, BRAC University

Enabling low-income parents to pay school fees via mobile money on a flexible schedule.

mSavings for adolescents

Education Programme

Increasing financial awareness and encouraging mobile-based savings habits among adolescents

Mobile payments for community health workers

Health, Nutrition and Population Programme

Digitalising payments to grassroots workers who provide basic health services to their communities

Post-disaster digital relief

Disaster, Environment and Climate Change Programme

Using SMS-based vouchers to enable affected households to quickly access relief goods from local businesses, who BRAC reimburses via mobile money

mRelief funds

Disaster, Environment and Climate Change Programme

Establishing a mobile-money-based mechanism for local fundraising to quickly mobilise resources for disasters and other crises.



The Innovation Fund for Mobile Money is supported from September 2013 to September 2016 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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I have not seen in my 71 years of life an opportunity to support youth co-create futures like SDG Metaverse Prize - since my father met von neumann the year I was born my family has kept an eye on entrepreneurial revolution open societal flows. living up to smithian or keynsian values 
Special thanks to zasheem launches of 2 journals with adam smith scholars and around Glasgow's greatest 20th C alumni for good. See alsdo and Greatests of All Time
Following on with Japan ambassador to Bangladesh support from 2010 in mapping last decade of Fazle Abed and the billion womens economic model he gravitated over 50 years, Team of Asian media graduates, and friends and I were lucky to follow movements of Guterres (very granular levels of 100 ops leaders inside UN) around digital un2.0 from their start in 2016.
As a statistician, datawise. I can offer a quick start mapping every last mile operation branch of UN that is linking in to maximise tech nd deep data with smartest possible logistics even as sad new fractures of world trade flows are caused most lately by Russia. Whats still needed is more clarity on which multilateral has the most data on broken value chains- fortunately i personally know who at the world bank has since 2006 the most data on food prices across every country. Maybe you know // sources .
 Digital cooperation has been celebrated solutionwise in Geneva where the ITU has actually been the digital twin of ny policy headquarters from the start in 1946 (and actually earlier since 1865 collaborations needed for there to be one telegraph standard instead of many).
By 2018 the first digital cooperation report mainly chaired out of geneva with 30 national tech leaders eg melinda gates representing USA to guterres and he formed tech envoy transformation office round 10 transformation processes -see Overview of the Office’s Ongoing Work | Office of the Secretary-General's Envoy on Technology
The ITU started taking its responsibility to a new level with AIforgood- specifically this went year round zoom not juts annual summit- and a first 50 operational branches of the UN identified at least one ai project each. Meanwhile Guterres hosted expert roundtables around the 10 processes uniting not just un branches and national leaders but corporations , leading ai university centres and NGOs -see
Three more things came together- it turned out that 20 operational units of the UN had been discussing web1 &2 in annual vents of ITU -in thi=ose days called worldwide information society; the xprize out of moutnain view's singularity university got involved. By december the 10 million dillar avatar prize will  be debriefed- the last 4 xprizes have been on urgen tai solutions eg related to covid. And japan has been uniting about 40 cities' colleges through two investment streams geared to society5.0 and Osaka Data Track Expos - connection places where the UN has a training college and connecting AI regional epicentres fortunately Nordica, Netherlands & selected East Europe's smartest community AI researchers (ie who value DAO) are miles more connected than west EU's bureaucratic offices. (I did help moderate EU Knolwgeboard for 3 years so have followed this rather strange old world happening) You could also check with Romano Prodi as died and he shared most entrepreneurial revolution maps.
Back in 2018 the tufts arctic circle club were miles ahead on virtual reality than other boston students including mit100k prize that i once judged in a minor way.  The over 18 teams are effectively free to help the UN digitalise and connect this with web 3 or metaverse or ai or whatever is the leap forward 2020s that you see tech mobilising
 can a prize help celebrate new Greatest of All Time. This will be one way to unite celebrities of sports and fashions with real tech heroines.
Exponentially we are at a critical time as nature judges us. Due to last week's supreme court rulings, around the world nations are being told taht it is only at the state level they can expect any american partners of climate, energy etc. However there is a chnace e that if we map who cares about water this may even unite some republican states. 
Thanks to the work led by people like Eban he has a listing of which institutions joined their youth in March 2022. Is there a way to see who wants to help youth connect before december's starting line for year 1 of As far as I can see this prize isnt just us last chance to be be trusted rest of the world on cop26 but it is every community's chance to benchmark digital gov. UN2.0 if succeeds  Meta will not only provide a benchmark for digital multilateral but will in effect unite every best govtech - at community state nation level. So already when it comes to goal 4 education places like singapore and south korea are both leaders of ai for every age group and leading connectors of Guterres Digital UN , and in effect every sustainability goal solution. of course the problem is penisular and  developed island states are not sufficient to help with massive inland solutions on continent scales let alone messy landlocked nations borders. The reality is west (US and EU) depends on Asian solutions  more than many Atlamtic policymakers view. Europe is not yet better situated for peace than the 1920s and this time round the US is not united on being a leader in saving the world. The great thing about the prize is with teams of 2-6 getting on with deep digital solutions youth can advance in joy and productivity even as elder generations have designed 60 years of accelerating media to propagate hate or fear or mental illness.
i welcome any way to follow this up eg whatsapp +1 240 316  8157, zooms, last month while wall street was still investing mainly in naked apes - educators started an NFT aimed at connecting 6000 educators; to be frank this is mainly k-12 leaving the 2 main areas fazle abed's last 20 years focused newly on university and pre-school maximum opportunity to represent women empowerments voice if you should so choose to collaborate
cheers chris macrae

===================please note most of this column is due to be re-edited we hope to issue a list of yunus top 10 stories but when it comes to solutions matching those challeges there's all to play for as web3 is humanity's last chnace to leap ahead

  hottest youth-spring question of our life and times-can online education end youth unemployment for ever ? yes but only if you help map how!

Breaking News to action now!

About Pro-Youth economics at Norman Macrae Foundation online library of norman macrae - The Economist's Unacknowledged Giant -videos 1 2 -fansweb  NMFoundation- youth projects - include yunuschoolusa


fullest press reports  Grameen Brand Partnership Architecture

exponential impact advisory: the social business youth networks inspired by muhammad yunus -without which millennium goal actions networks would be way behind are worth far more than any individual parts according to Norman Macrae Foundation  trilliondollaraudit methodology and charter notespace

Beyond the extraordinary investment of the members bank at Grameen, and the approximate third share its members foundation holds in grameenphone, here is our Unofficial League Table of Most Impactful Social Business Investments around yunus - last update 1 dec 2012

! Grameen Solar

2 Grameen Mobile Nursing nets and college

3 Portfolio of investments linkedin by Japan

4 Portfolio of youth-led networking inventions in US educationsystem  tertiar and secondary - transparency note NM Foundation has minor donation/loan interest

5 Investments in Grameen as collaboration brand linked in out of paris- the origin of global social business partnership funds

6 OpenTech investments of Grameen Intel


-------- while not controlled by yunus we see wholeplanetfoundation microcredit investment table and conscious capitalsm movements and hugely important to advancing pro-youth economicsmission of friends of youth and yunus


email you have questions or recommendations of entries that should be in this league table

-please read notes about what pro-youth economists mean by superapps being most

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