Ungana-Afrika and the Meraka Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) have released the Village Operator Feasibility Framework under a Creative Commons Licence. The Feasibility Framework presents a methodology for evaluating whether a rural ICT entrepreneur (or Village Operator) can be viable at a given site. The framework is focused on a particular model of ICT entrepreneurship built around Meraka's Wireless Mesh Network project, but could be adapted to fit with other initiatives.
Many factors that influence viability can be evaluated before a new enterprise is established. This methodology proposes six dimensions along which the feasibility of a Village Operator should be assessed:
- Operational - the underlying business model should be sound
- Market - there needs to be a market that values and pays for the services
- Technical - it must be feasible to establish the business and provide services with the available technology, at the desired site
- Social - it must be socially and politically feasible to establish operations and provide services in the community.
- Management - the structure must conform to legal requirements, be appropriate to the operating model and managed by the right people.
- Financial - the business needs to be profitable, with manageable financial risks.
The framework document contains an introduction to the methodology, a scorecard for evaluating viability and an outline of the Village Operator business model that is being evaluated.
Village Operator Feasibility Framework
Copyright 2009 by CSIR and Ungana-Afrika. All rights reserved.
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