Changing the way safe drinking water is bought and sold in Africa.
The idea for I-Drop Water came from my seeing how everywhere I travelled in Africa, there was bottled water for sale in grocery stores at an exorbitant price. And yet, in many of these grocery stores there was a water supply. What was missing was a way of purifying water on site. This is a widespread issue and 750 million people across the globe still do not have access to safe, clean drinking water.
I-Drop installs purification and dispensing units at the point of sale. Shoppers refill water containers, which means that we reduce plastic waste, and it is very affordable - in fact up to 80% cheaper than bottled water. Meanwhile, the water supply comes at no cost to retailers, and we monitor our units remotely to keep maintenance costs low. We split revenue with them so for every dollar we make, a shop owner makes the same, which drives economic activity in communities.
With funding I-Drop would be able to…
Ensure that no one ever has to face a choice between drinking unsafe or unaffordable water. We have spent 18 months developing a robust solution, and we are now ready to scale. Funding would enable us to grow our fleet of I-Drop units into hundreds of additional stores, and to start exploring markets outside of Africa where I-Drop’s innovative product and business model are desperately needed. In so doing, we will have an environmental impact in the form of reduced plastic, carbon and water waste, and will also generate local economic activity for water entrepreneurs who will become part of the drinking water solution in their communities.
We have decided to use every dollar we make through the public vote to fund a project to provide free, safe drinking water for underprivileged school-children in Southern Africa. We will be able to track and report on this process and provide real-time updates to the public on the amount of water that children in different schools are drinking.
I am passionate about…
The ability of business to deliver meaningful social change as well as profit. I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, a city that exemplifies the saying: “The world has an even distribution of talent, but an uneven distribution of opportunity.” In early 2014, while visiting a displacement camp for thousands of people affected by flooding I became severely ill from drinking contaminated water. I was able to access medicine and safe water within a day of leaving the area but was left with the image of a few hundred children who had no access to safe water, they were being hindered by this most basic of requirements.