The trend toward linking women in the developing world with mobile services continues to grow: This past October, theGSMA (the umbrella body for the world’s mobile operators) kick-started its mWomen initiative at the US State Department, with Souktel among the invited guests. Now leading US magazine Scientific American has picked up on this phenomenon, exploring it in last month's feature story "Mobile Phones for Women: A New Approach for Social Welfare in the Developing World." The focus is on connecting female job-seekers with rewarding employment, and reporter Robin Lloyd chose to zero in on Souktel's renowned JobMatch service:
"Enas Salameh, a 24-year-old college graduate living in the Palestinian West Bank city of Jenin, needed a job this summer. But her family finds it unacceptable for a woman to venture alone into the city without a male companion or an appointment. Fortunately, it's fine to use a mobile phone … Salameh was thus able to sign up for a text message-based job-matching program sponsored by a service called Souktel. She posted a 'mini-resume,' browsed for suitable jobs via text messages, and then interviewed in person after an appointment was set. On September 22nd, she started a data-entry job with the German aid agency GTZ...
"'This is better than staying at home,' she says through a translator, 'and I think that I am gaining new experiences to be a useful woman in my community.' Without mobile phones, says Souktel co-founder Jacob Korenblum, a lot of the approximately 750 women worldwide who have work through the program would still be unemployed."
Read the full Scientific American article here.
Souktel’s Mobile JobMatch Service on CNBC
Prior to his appearance on a live panel discussion at CNBC’s Global Youth Employment summit last month, Souktel co-founder Jacob Korenblum joined Siemens CEO Peter Loscher and ILO Executive Director Jose Manuel Salazar as a guest blogger on CNBC.com. Korenblum’s post "Fighting Youth Unemployment with Mobile Phones" explores the concept of using simple technology to accomplish big goals in the developing world:
"The principle behind Souktel is simple: better information helps youth find better jobs, and it helps employers find more qualified staff. Mobile technology speeds up the process, reducing the time that youth spend unemployed — while ensuring that businesses can hire and grow efficiently …
"The challenge of finding a job for every young person in emerging markets will likely get worse before it gets better. But we believe that simple technology can help combat this challenge, by linking youth with work in the global marketplace and by helping new graduates find jobs at home more quickly and cheaply.
"As young people, we don't claim to have all the answers to the dilemma of youth unemployment — but we do have the audacity to try out new possible solutions."
Read the full CNBC blog post here.