Having observed too many development projects that appeared successful at first, but then failed as soon as the development agency moved on, Martin Fisher and Nick Moon felt strongly about taking a different approach. They believed that the root problem was lack of ownership and accountability, and they became convinced that individual ownership was the most promising strategy for alleviating poverty. Fisher and Moon founded KickStart to design tools that would enable Africa’s poor to launch and sustain their own profitable businesses. The organization’s first product was a line of manually operated irrigation pumps — branded “MoneyMaker Pumps” — that would help subsistence farmers transform their farms into profitable family businesses. The KickStart team believed that to be sustainable, its products had to be affordable and enable farmers to realize return on their investment within a relatively short period. This mini-case study explores this approach and how KickStart structures its business to provide enduring solutions.
This story is part of the Global Health Innovation Insight Series developed at Stanford University to shed light on the challenges that global health innovators face as they seek to develop and implement new products and services that address needs in resource-constrained settings.
Acknowledgements: This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health grant 1 RC4 TW008781-01.