Micro-Biz
Network
MSE Information Centers, Telecenters, and Business Service Centers

Business Models

Business Centers

  • HQ Network Systems, Inc. is a company that has been actively developing business telecenters throughout the world, including several in the Silicon Valley of California. Their "Business Centers of Silicon Valley" home page offers an interesting look at the types of services provided -- and how they can benefit business users of all sizes.

Rural Telecom Services and Centers

  • Grameen Telecom is a company dedicated to bringing the information revolution to the rural people of Bangladesh. Grameen Telecom is planning, over the next 4 years, to provide GSM 900 cellular mobile phone service to 100 million rural inhabitants in 68,000 villages of Bangladesh by (1) financing 60,000 members of Grameen Bank to provide village pay phone service and (2) providing direct phones to potential subscribers.
  • SMART Communications, Philippines -- SMART maintains a network of telecenters all over the Philippines. Their Web site contains several illustrations of the impact that SMART has made in the lives of some ordinary Filipinos. For example:
    • Along the seashores of Pagadian, fishermen go about their nightly expeditions equipped with SMART Celfones. At the break of dawn, as they approach the shore, they turn these on and call their contacts for the latest price of fish. Not only do they assure their families that they are alright but their earnings improve as a result of the advanced pricing information they get.
    • Vegetable growers in Baguio are now better-off because of SMART Celfones. They now get advanced information on the going prices of vegetables in Metro Manila markets. As a result, they have been able to negotiate fair prices for their produce with traders.

Postal and Business Center Franchises

  • Mail Boxes Etc. --Mail Boxes Etc. (MBE) claims to be the world's largest and most prominent franchise network of retail centers offering convenient and value-added business services. MBE Centers serve a large and rapidly growing customer group of large to small, home-based businesses and general consumers. For MBE financial information, click here.
  • POSTNET postal and business centers -- PostNet Postal and Business Centers offer a one-stop array of products and services to consumers from all walks of life. PostNet Centers help customers select the best way to package, ship, or post an item; provide secure mail receiving solutions; and communicate with friends, family, and business associates across the country or around the world. PostNet Centers also handle volume copying and printing orders and provide retail items such as greeting cards, office supplies, and specialty gifts through their proprietary GiftNet® program. PostNet Center owners can also offer desktop publishing, graphic design, video teleconferencing, and a continually growing list of additional services and products based on their own experience, education, and local market and consumer needs. For a description of Post Net services offered in South African, click here. For a list of services offered by PostNet Canada, click here. For a description of services offered by a U.S. PostNet franchisee, click here.
  • Postal Annex+ -- Another interesting example of a franchise network that offers postal, parcel, copy shop, business and communications services targeted to the small office/home office market. Postal Annex franchises offer complete postal, packaging, and parcel shipping services; copy and high speed duplicating, facsimile, office and packaging supplies. Click here for information on start-up costs.