UNESCO Mobile Learning Week - Cherie Blair

UNESCO_mobile_learning_week_cherie_blair

Cherie Blair’s inspiring keynote address at UNESCO’s Mobile Learning Week today was a great call to action to increase the support provided to women entrepreneurs. The Cherie Blair Foundation leads by example in this space, delivering a host of support to female entrepreneurs worldwide. With a clearly stated aim of supporting women with the capability, the confidence and the important access to capital they need to grow and expand their businesses, the Cherie Blair Foundation has delivered support to over 100,000 women in over 70 countries.

How do they do this? Every program has an element of technology. Whether delivering business training by mobile phones, or mentoring support over the internet, technology is a vital component of their support.

Education is a vital aspect of our work. And by education I mean entrepreneurial learning and training and learning and training that is available at every stage of their life, not simply at school age. Because if we are going to transform life for women, we can’t only concentrate on the young ones…

And she is right.

As I sit in this amazing UNESCO building in Paris, listening to global leading initiatives, I am grateful for the time to pause and reflect on the progress we have made as a nation. Our literacy and education rates are high relative to the developing countries also in attendance here, as is our access to mobile phones, although that is no doubt about to change. While a woman in a low or middle income country is 21% less likely than a man to own a mobile phone, a statistic we can expect to see change quickly with mobile phone operators standing to make an additional $13billion in additional revenues by closing this gap!

The change that can be driven through mobile technology is profound. From the literacy at the well project in South Sudan, to e-learning in Africa, to Digital Witness – a personal safety and security app that sends a help message and your location to 3 contacts – (developed by fellow Australian, Isabelle Zornada), digital based empowerment is a game changer.

Which is why we’ve spent the past 15 months ensuring our award winning 6 Step programs will be affordable, accessible and available across all devices.

Seriously, the mobile revolution is here. It’s now. And it’s a game changer with the potential to address inequality like never before.