Kickstart: The Tools to End Poverty
Get farm families out of poverty
Develop, manufacture and mass market money-making products for the rural poor, most prominently manual irrigation pumps
How it works
- Design a line of affordable, robust pumps
- Manufacture wherever most cost-effective at high quality
- Sell and distribute through existing rural supply chains
- Market directly to farmers using a donor subsidy until break-even
How it will go to scale
Via organizational growth. Donor funds subsidize the establishment of sustainable operations. KickStart is striving for the profitability that will stimulate a whole industry.
Progress so far
International scale up: In 2011 KickStart sold 27,400 pumps in Kenya, Tanzania and Mali. Since inception KickStart has sold more than 200,000 irrigation pumps moving 132,000 families out of poverty.
Visit the website
Over 2 billion people are stuck in rural poverty, passed over by globalization and the Green Revolution.
Martin Fisher and Nick Moon started KickStart in 1989 to develop very affordable money-making products for the developing world. Several successes followed, including manual oil-presses, hay-balers, and brick-makers, but what proved phenomenally successful was their new design for foot-powered irrigation pumps. Since then 200,000 pumps have been sold in Kenya, Tanzania, Mali and Burkina Faso, and farmers using them show a dramatic increase in income, vaulting those families out of poverty. Africa has proven a much more difficult market than Asia, and so KickStart is testing a range of ingenious marketing solutions. The potential for manual irrigation pumps is enormous- over 30 million farmers worldwide could benefit from a switch to manual pump irrigation.
A compelling problem
Nearly two billion people are stuck in rural poverty. They desperately need the right products and technologies to make a livable income.
A scalable solution
Mulago assesses scalability based on five characteristics common to efforts that have taken lasting impact to scale.
Real impact: Kickstart measures the change in farm income following a pump purchase, using random sampling and controls. Kickstart farmers show an average income gain of ~$1000.
Cost-effective: Using the Mulago metric of average additional three-year income per donor dollar, Kickstart increases 3-year farmer incomes by $3000, at a donor cost per family of $300 - a social return of $10 per donor dollar.
Lasting behavior: Once market is established, all key behavior changes are driven and maintained by profits.
Easy replication: KickStart uses and leverages existing market structures and supply chains, and products are broadly adaptable across cultures and settings.
A viable route to scale: Treadle pumps went to scale in Asia via the emergence of a thriving pump industry; Africa presents more challenges, but KickStart is testing a variety of new marketing strategies.
Capacity to deliver
Co-founders Martin Fisher and Nick Moon have over 40 years experience working in Africa, and the senior management team, including a new Managing Director for Africa Operations, has strong private sector experience. Since 2006 KickStart has doubled their annual pump sales. Recently they have been focusing on sales and marketing strategies to bring down their long-term cost/sale and increase their sales growth.
updated June 2012