780 Million Illiterate People – Can Social Media Make A New Market Out of Them?

Over the past couple of years, we have heard people debate over how social media is going to cause the end of reading and literacy. With the estimated number of illiterate people in the world is about 781 million, with about 30 million of those residing in the US; social media, however, can play vital role for people with low literacy.

With Facebook making interfaces easy for the people, for example using mobile numbers and icons it has become easier for people who can’t read or write to access social media. Social media has the power to enable the illiterate people economically.

Read: The US Embassy Entrepreneurship Speaker Series Sponsors Pakistani Entrepreneurs for Training

How so? According to Forbes, Tawakkal a young entrepreneur from Islamabad Pakistan who runs a thriving carpentry business that employs three full-time people and makes between $200 and $1,000 a month. But why are his accomplishments remarkable? As the man himself cannot read or write.

Tawakkal overcame hurdles to start his own business through Social Media. He went onto Facebook when he noticed other skilled carpenters posted their pictures there. He took to WhatsApp which enables him to find new clients by having his current clients forward the photos. He then communicates with clients using pictures that offer the same reassurance that might come from formal marketing or written communication.

Muhammad Mustafa is an ambitious social entrepreneur who aims to make a market out of those 780 million, starting in Pakistan.