Pumping the breaks for traction: Kickstart

Pumping the breaks for traction: Kickstart

When is a speedbump a launchpad?

Kickstart is a non-profit social enterprise headquartered in Nairobi and working across Sub Saharan Africa where most smallholder farmers depend on increasingly unreliable rains to grow food. Hunger is a big risk.

Kickstart wants smallholders to use irrigation pumps to get at the water under their fields. They have big ambitions: after testing their affordable ‘Starter Pump’ with innocent foundation support in Kenya, they’re now distributing in Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda, Nigeria, Zambia, Mozambique, and Malawi.

Truly, it’s a deluge of pumps. But the flow hasn’t always been smooth. Recently, nearly half of a shipment of nearly 1,300 pumps arrived from the manufacturer with defects. Refusing to be knocked sideways, Kickstart salvaged parts and made what we imagine was a polite-but-firm phone call. When the dust settled, and replacements arrived, they had almost 200 more pumps than they started with. Result!

More on Kickstart.

Posted by Connor Friesen on December 6, 2021