“Throughout Africa, KickStart is lifting thousands of families out of poverty by helping them address their greatest need: finding a way to make more money.
In the 1980s, Martin Fisher spent years doing traditional anti-poverty work in Africa, only to see a string of community-development projects flounder and fail. Finally, he had a flash of insight that would prompt him to create a very different kind of nonprofit, KickStart. “I learned a lot of ways not to do development and came to this realization that the poor person’s No. 1 need is a way to make more money,” he said.
Launched in 1991, KickStart identifies profitable businesses that people can start with a small investment and then creates and sells the tools and equipment that people need to enter those businesses. As a result, more than 130,000 profitable new businesses have been started throughout Africa, more than 65,000 acres of farmland are being irrigated by KickStart pumps, and about 650,000 people have been lifted out of poverty.”
Source: Faith and Ledership.com (good overview article)
Qatar.cmu.edu (long essay with details)
Wired Magazine profiles one of their low cost water pumps that costs between $75 and $160, and have sold over 230,000)
Related: Paul Polak, Making a Dent in the Universe