Monday, August 06, 2007

Increase skills of the poor through Instructional Videos

One element that will be a challenge with any microfranchising venture will be training. I think technology can play a major role in this regard. Internet cafes, computer kiosks, and products such as the $100 computer are bringing computing access to more marginalized communities and, most critical for this current discussion, access to cd or dvd players/drives.

However, beyond worker training, I think training through VCD’s or DVD’s has the potential to its own microenterprise. Consider the skills taught through video by the company SmartFlix that could bring income and skills to the poor: Soapmaking, smelting iron in africa, Infant and Toddler First Aid, plumbing and electricity, welding basics, homeade biodiesel and the list goes on and on. Just think of the possibilities if the subjects, language and learning style were catered to the needs of the poor. A microenterprise could be established to rent videos to people about to enter an internet cafe. Microfinance institutions could offer the videos to their clients to increase productivity and diversity in the marketplace. The videos could be coupled with mobile movie businesses.

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