LOCATION: Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe
SUMMARY: With a unique social franchise model, Jibu has developed a holistic solution to health, employment and infrastructural challenges of the developing world. Jibu equips and finances aspiring entrepreneurs to make drinking water and other health-improving products accessible and affordable to entire communities.
PROBLEM SPACE: Billions of people in the developing world do not have access to life necessities, especially safe drinking water. Approximately 80% of illnesses and 500,000 cases of child mortality per year are attributed to lack of safe water and sanitation. Unsafe drinking water is killing thousands, while inhibiting productivity and progress. Concurrently, massive under-employment and lack of business opportunities trap many in poverty. Business opportunities that offer more than a subsistence level of income are virtually non-existent in emerging markets. Globally, over 1 billion members of the urban/peri-urban population lack access to safe water and sanitation, and nearly 1 in 3 workers worldwide are unemployed, live in poverty, or both.
SOLUTION: "Emerging market entrepreneurs have inventive ideas for tackling their communities challenges, but typically lack start-up capital as well as business models and best practices. Unemployment and under-employment are systemic in many developing areas, with over 400,000 new graduates per year in Uganda alone competing for only 9,000 available jobs. Solving the opportunity challenge is foundational to solving the water crisis and other seemingly intractable emerging market challenges. Jibu's growth has shown that the best way to ignite a virtuous cycle of economic vitality and improve community health is to equip and finance a network of local owners.
Meanwhile, there have been incredible advances in water technology, but failure to wrap a sustainable business model around these advances to keep pace with rapid population growth and urbanization. Over the past decade it has become increasingly apparently that an organically profitable, locally-owned, and scalable social business model is critical to addressing explosive urban population growth and solving the water and jobs crisis."
UPDATE (2018): Jibu equips and finances aspiring entrepreneurs to make drinking water and other health-improving products accessible and affordable to entire communities. Since applying to the 2017 Fuller Challenge, Jibu has grown existing operations and prepared to launch three new countries - Zimbabwe, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Expanding Jibu operations makes safe water accessible and affordable to more people, creates opportunities for local entrepreneurs and workers, and puts Jibu on track to meet its goal of 1,000 drinking water franchises in at least a dozen new countries by 2022.
CONTACT: [email protected]