KickStart: A Business Model to Tackle Poverty

            
 
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Case Details:

Case Code : LDEN068
Case Length : 17 Pages
Period : 1991-2009
Pub Date : 2010
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : KickStart International, Inc.
Industry : Social Entrepreneurship
Countries : Kenya

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"The vast majority of development is about giving things away, and most development agencies see the poor as victims asking for help. At KickStart, we have a very different opinion of them. We see them as entrepreneurs. We see them as extremely hardworking people seeking the opportunity to get out of poverty."1

- Martin Fisher, CEO and co-founder of KickStart International, Inc., in 2008.

"In creating KickStart, Martin (Fisher) has created a model that is, by design, sustainable and easily replicated nearly anywhere in the world where people suffer grinding poverty. Because of the quantum leap in income brought about by these technologies, the journey out of poverty is a one-way trip."2

- Frances B. Emerson, Vice President of corporate communications at Deere and Company3, in 2008.

Introduction

In early 2009, KickStart International, Inc. (KickStart), a Kenya-based non-profit organization, launched a marketing campaign called "Farming is My Business", to sell its range of irrigation pumps.

Talking about the campaign, Martin Fisher (Fisher), the CEO and co-founder of KickStart, said, "We realized that we needed to do more than just sell our pumps, or even selling the "dream" of success, we needed to sell farming as a viable and profitable business.

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1] "Inventor's Irrigation Pumps Help Lift African Farmers out of Poverty," http://web.mit.edu, 2008.
2] "Fisher Receives Lemelson-MIT award," http://blogs.physicstoday.org, April 23, 2008.
3] Deere and Company, established in the US in 1837 is a leading global manufacturer of agricultural machinery. It sold tractors, balers, planters/seeders, lawn mowers, string trimmers, chainsaws, etc.


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