Social Capitalists: KickStart

43 entrepreneurs who are changing the world
2007 Social Capitalist Winner

KickStart

San Francisco, CA
Year founded: 1991
CEO: Martin Fisher
www.kickstart.org

KickStart presents a new way to fight poverty. KickStart sells inexpensive technologies, such as irrigation pumps and hay balers, to farmers in poor communities in sub-Saharan Africa who wish to start or improve small-scale businesses. Most of KickStart's customers live on less than one dollar a day. Our technologies help them transition from subsistence farming to commercial irrigated farming. With irrigation, they can grow three or four crop cycles annually rather than just one, and they can sell in-demand fruits and vegetables throughout the dry season.

KickStart's biggest seller, generating 70 percent of sales, is the Super-MoneyMaker foot-driven irrigation pump. On average the pump can raise a farm's income from $110 to $1,100 annually. KickStart sells a smaller, less expensive Hip-Pump that will irrigate smaller plots of land.

In fiscal year 2006 alone, KickStart helped 9,200 families start businesses that together generated over $10 million. To date, KickStart has helped over 240,000 people get out of poverty. KickStart turns every one-dollar donation into $15 in profits and wages for farmers using the pumps.

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