Using mobile phone texting to address world poverty?

Found out about this great way of supporting a cause using mobile phone technology - texts/SMSs - and all homegrown here in Wellington, New Zealand!

A group of young entrepreneurs is using mobile phone technology to address world poverty issues.

The win-win situation sees mobile users receiving promotional text messages, relevant to their fields of interest, in exchange for ‘credit’, that can either be used to top-up their mobile phone account or support World Vision education projects.

It’s part of a service called SchmallTxt, provided by Small Change Enterprises. Five Wellington College students established the business, as part of the Young Enterprise Scheme (YES), with a good deal of initiative and a heart for the poor.

The tech-savvy students understood that many traditional advertising mediums, such as flyers and print ads, are rarely read by young people. By using mobile phone text messages as an advertising medium and tailoring the messages they send, advertisers receive a better response rate.

With the incentive of ten cents credit from each message received to use as airtime or as a donation to World Vision’s education projects, new customers have not been difficult to come by. Happily, one third of new customers have chosen to donate their credit to World Vision.
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