As the 2023 International Women’s Month comes to a close, one inspiring example of how women are creating digital inclusion and empowerment for other women is Copia Global the female-founded Kenyan e-commerce startup founded by Tracey Turner.
Founded in 2013, by Turner, a veteran Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Copia’s mission is to bring affordable, quality goods to underserved communities in Africa through e-commerce. To achieve this, it leverages mobile technology, agent networks and innovative last-mile logistics technology to serve its customers.
Now expanded to Uganda in 2021, Copia’s business model organically empowers African women by providing employment opportunities and enabling them to become entrepreneurs. Through its network of agents, local jobs have been created, mostly for women. This is a classic case of women empowering women. No economy can reach its full potential where women do not have equal opportunities.
Copia’s agents are mostly women, who provide goods for customers who are also mostly women, contributing to the financial well-being of their communities. Of the over 60,000 agents of Copia’s Agents, 81% are women. These women have been able to increase their income up to 37% by working with Copia and are able to contribute to the financial well-being of their communities.
One of the key features of Copia’s business model is its use of technology to connect agents with customers. Agents are provided with a mobile app that allows them to access Copia’s product catalogue, place orders, and track their deliveries. This app has been instrumental in enabling agents to build successful businesses, as it allows them to operate more efficiently and effectively.
In line with the 2023 International Women’s Month Theme: DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality, Copia is supporting more African women to be part of the digital economy. The company is providing training and resources to help women become more digitally literate and to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the digital economy. This is an important step in empowering women to become entrepreneurs and to participate more fully in the economic development of their communities.
Copia’s success is a testament to the power of entrepreneurship and innovation in driving social and economic change. By providing affordable, quality goods to underserved communities, the company is helping to improve the standard of living for middle to low income Africans. At the same time, Copia is creating jobs and economic opportunities for women, who are often marginalized in traditional economies.
As we wrap the 2023 International Women’s Month, it is important to recognize the contributions that women are making to global and African economy. Companies like Copia Global are leading the way in empowering women and creating a more just and equitable world. By supporting women’s entrepreneurship and promoting gender equality, more women will have access to opportunities that will allow them to be successful entrepreneurs and change agents.