The Market Garden App
How the Market Garden App Started
In order to empower women in the informal sector for social and economic self –reliance, the Institute for Social Transformation (IST), a women’s rights NGO in Uganda built capacity of over 10,000 market women from markets across the country in business and financial literacy.
Despite this, the market women entrepreneurs still encountered challenges and competition from mobile vendors, and an emergency of the second layer of middle men who brokerage individual/personal house hold shopping/small and medium sized enterprises shopping and make more profit.
In December 2018, IST with support from UN Women and the Embassy of Sweden developed and launched the Market Garden App, an online sales platform that creates convenience for people to shop for groceries anytime, anywhere using their smartphones.
The Market Garden App went through several test runs in 2019 and was finally open for public use in March 2020. Over 1,500 orders have been processed and delivered. The App is operational in 12 markets in Kampala & Wakiso. There are over 500 women enrolled on the App. The App currently has over 1000 downloads and can be downloaded both on Google Play Store and the Apple App Store
How the App Supports Women in Markets.
Having started operations at the beginning the lockdown in Uganda, the Market Garden App has enabled the market women to rise above the effect of COVID 19 on their businesses.
The App has enabled market women in Kampala to do businesses beyond their stalls. They are able to sell their products online to virtual customers and this has led to a significant increase in their income.
The App has over 120 products which are mostly sold by the market women.
Nevertheless, there are still challenges being faced by the women especially low literacy levels and little or no access to affordable smartphones or data bundles for those with smartphones.