Bottom of the Pyramid

Dazin

A solution to open fire cooking – Dazin – Ep016

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Dazin - Meeting

The image above shows a town meeting with Dazin’s product the “Fuel Cookie” lower centre.

This episode is part of a podcast series called “Entrepreneurs & Economic Development” talking to entrepreneurs using business and technology to solve problems at the Bottom of the Pyramid. Listen to the interview by clicking play above. 

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Today’s Guest – Deepak Ashwani, Dazin

Deepak Ashwani, CEO and Founder of Dazin an organization looking to solve the issue of open cooking fires in Bhutan. Deepak goes into how a combination of travels in his native India and a masters degree in Europe combined to provide the inspiration to form Dazin.

You will learn:

  • Cooking has 2 essential elements, the stove and the fuel. Dazin focus’s on the fuel portion.
  • All 8 original Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were affected by open fire cooking
  • 3 Billion people are using open fire cooking, many still use the “Three stone method”
  • Most Efficient BOP Stoves: Gasifier stoves, they are even smokeless!
  • How Deepak selected Bhutan? If his model could work in mountains, it could work anywhere!
  • Their product, the fuel cookie is made of densified wood waste. This makes it both affordable and sustainable.
  • Their Business Model: Rural households bring biomass and receive fuel cookies for a % of the mass collected, urban households buy pellets at nearby shops.

One of my favourite points raised in the episode was about expansion. Customers approaching Dazin and asking “When are you starting in our village?” Definitely the mark of a product in demand!

Great Quotes

If you want to challenge yourself and learn a lot, get outside your comfort zone - @DazinBhutan Click To Tweet Smoke Inhalation is killing 8 people per minute - @DazinBhutan Click To Tweet Fun Fact Bhutan is one of the highest wood fuel consumers per capita globally - @DazinBhutan Click To Tweet Bhutanese law states 60% of land should be covered by forest - @DazinBhutan #eco Click To Tweet

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kopo kopo

Financial Insights and Mobile Money – Kopo Kopo – Ep015

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This episode is part of a podcast series called “Entrepreneurs & Economic Development” talking to entrepreneurs using business and technology to solve problems at the Bottom of the Pyramid. Listen to the interview by clicking play above. 

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Subscribe with iTunes for iPhone or Stitcher for Android.

Today’s Guest

Ben Lyon is Co-Founder and VP Business Development at Kopo Kopo a platform that enables merchants to accept mobile money. Ben is considered an expert in mobile money and shares his opinions on the future of digital currency in emerging markets.

You will learn:

  • While studying informal economies in University and in Uganda Ben experienced the birth of air time transfers and mobile money
  • A brief history lesson on M-Pesa
  • Fun Fact: Kopo Kopo is an alteration of the Creole phrase Kobboh kobboh meaning money!
  • How Kopo Kopo helps merchants manage mobile finance with business tools
  • “The Trojan Horse”, electronic payments build the relationship with merchant which opens up doors for future services
  • Grow cash advance: a new product using financial data to provide loans to SME clients
  • Expansion:
    • 4 New markets this quarter
    • More products in the toolkit to help businesses grow
  • The plan, 5 years, 100 million dollar company, serving 1 million merchants

Summer Contest

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Great Quotes

There are over 100 million active #mobilemoney users globally - @Kopokopoinc Click To Tweet #MobileMoney is becoming the payment card of the global south - @Kopokopoinc Click To Tweet There are more phones in #India than #toilets, talking innovation w @BMLyon Click To Tweet

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Ben Lyon & Kopo Kopo Contact info:

Feel Free to Comment or Connect

If you have any recommendations for future interviews please place them in the comments section. 
millennials

5 Reasons Millennials are moving to work in Africa’s Tech Sector

Big Challenges and Limited Resources, a perfect storm for millennial innovators

Millennials are known for aligning their values with their career and it is not surprising they are flocking to Africa’s emerging social venture sector. Although my experience is focused on East Africa other enterprising individuals are growing startup communities throughout the continent from Lagos to Accra to Lusaka attracting international talent. Young professionals are developing their skills at in North America or Europe and bringing them to new markets to develop companies that are truly changing the world. Businesses in sanitation and solar are scaling requiring SalesForce Admins or ElectricalEngineers opening up opportunities for an increasingly global workforce.

  1. Increasing Business Sector

During the past decade 2 major changes have opened up Africa to the world, internet access and mobile phones. As internet speeds increase it’s easier to do business and the mobile phone industry has created new sectors around communication and connected devices. With a population of almost a billion people more international companies are entering the market and exploring business opportunities.

  1. Mission Driven Organizations

Social Entrepreneurship is one of the biggest buzz words at business schools and in the technology space. In North America the established social welfare system, infrastructure and general wealth means you are tackling sub-groups among the population whereas in Africa the vast majority of the population earns under 5 dollars a day. Producing a product that costs 25 cents a day and replaces a current inferior household demand can be a billion dollar company serving millions of people (ex. telecom industry). Furthermore many of the companies are trying to solve big problems electricity, urban sanitation, health clinics, rural internet and communication are among a few of the growing sectors.

  1. Opportunity

There is a significant management gap in many businesses as international companies move into Africa. The presents an opportunity for well trained professionals to continue to advance their careers while living in a new culture. Millennials are the most educated generation in history and can utilize their skills in emerging economies. Start Ups are a new phenomenon in Africa and many Kenyans prefer longer term secure roles providing expatriates the opportunity to capitalize on new technology if willing to accept the risk of an unproven company in a new market.

  1. Adventure

As a Canadian living in Kenya there’s nothing like wearing shorts all year round, great patios and new landscapes. Walking past fruit and vegetable sellers at the side of the road and Kenyan cuisine continue to bring new experiences to my life on a daily basis. Weekend trips to new towns or countries provide adventure within reach from a home base at a fraction of a cost and the ability to develop a true understanding of a new region.

  1. No Strings

The “renting generation” cannot afford to purchase a home in their 20s in most mega cities, they have delayed kids and travel extensively. The “sharing economy” and less emphasis on personal possessions due to smaller and smaller urban apartments make it easier and easier to pack up two bags when moving cities or countries. Young people are moving cities for college, for new jobs and the next step is going global! Plane tickets are a fraction of the cost compared to when our parents and grandparents were young making the risk of trying something new much lower.
In Nairobi I pass a handful of construction sites on my 15 minute walk to work every morning. This represents the rapid growth that is bubbling up in the business community and for entrepreneurial adventurous individuals Africa presents a great place to roll up your sleeve and try something new! The difference between an economy growing 1.2% per year and 5-7% is visual and extremely exciting. So if you aren’t tied down and looking for something new try Africa!

A Physical Addressing System for Emerging Markets – OkHi – Ep014

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This episode is part of a podcast series called “Entrepreneurs & Economic Development” talking to entrepreneurs using business and technology to solve problems at the Bottom of the Pyramid. Listen to the interview by clicking play above. 

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Today’s Guest

Wes Chege is a Co-founder and Head of Product Management at OkHi, a Nairobi based location finding application. OkHi is building a platform that allows people to share their address with friends or delivery services incorporating a picture of their door or gate to overcome GPS inaccuracies on mobile devices.

You will learn:

  • Impact of the iHub and an overview of the Kenyan Start Up Scene
  • How high youth unemployment is leading to more talent entering the East African Entrepreneurship community
  • OkHi is solving 2 main problems:
    • GPS Accuracy of Consumer Devices
    • Knowing your destination when houses/offices aren’t numbered
  • The Business Model: Charging Delivery companies a fee per use
  • The challenge of developing mobile technology for individuals that have never used a smartphone or computer and how they worked with Motorbike deliverymen to refine their product

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Great Quotes

When #investors come to #Kenya the first place they go is @ihub #podcast w @WesChege Click To Tweet How a lost delivery driver lead @WesChege to ponder location services - #Podcast w @letsokhi Click To Tweet #Podcast The most challenging part of @LetsOkHi making it work for my mom & low tech users Click To Tweet How @LetsOkHi tested their product with Motorbike delivery men during development Click To Tweet

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Contact Name or Company:

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If you have any recommendations for future interviews please place them in the comments section. 
PendaHealth

Health Care Access in Kenya – Penda Health – Ep 013

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The image above shows the opening of a Penda Health Clinic.

This episode is part of a podcast series called “Entrepreneurs & Economic Development” talking to entrepreneurs using business and technology to solve problems at the Bottom of the Pyramid. Listen to the interview by clicking play above. 

iTunes      Stitcher

Subscribe with iTunes for iPhone or Stitcher for Android.

Today’s Guest

Stephanie Koczela is the co-founder of Penda Health, a Kenyan company providing high quality affordable health services around Nairobi.

You will learn:

  • How a paper on maternal health in Kenya sparked the interest of an American exchange student in Nairobi that blossomed years later into Penda Health
  • From Conversation to Clinic in 6 months : The birth of Penda Health
  • Piloting 101: Open good clinics, be nice to people, see if patients come
  • 3 Key Customer Service Factors:
    • a Smile
    • a Balloon (for Kids)
    • Greet all customers like you would your grandmother
  • Impact Investing, Patient Capital & Crowdfunding
  • Running a clinic starts with a landlord, replacing plumbing and electrical and ends with keeping your staff and customers happy
  • How to pick a clinic location
    • 1) Density
    • 2) Insurance Levels
    • 3) Ability to pay
    • 4) Great landlords!
  • Stephanie’s wish : A weigh scale that can stand up to difficult African conditions and high use
  • Stephanie’s Nairobi Gems:
    • Nairobi West – South C (Chicken Roasters – Outdoor Area)
    • Awash – Ethiopian Restaurant

Great Quotes

2 Main factors in choosing to deliver in hospital in #kenya - Economics & User Experience… Click To Tweet Average #Kenyan clinic sees 30 patients/day, we see 50-60 - @PendaHealth Click To Tweet How a balloon and a #smile are helping change the face of Kenyan #medical clinics - @PendaHealth Click To Tweet Greet the customer like you would your #grandmother- @PendaHealth #customercare Click To Tweet

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Contact info for Stephanie and Penda Health:

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If you have any recommendations for future interviews please place them in the comments section. 
inVenture

How data is changing financial inclusion – inVenture – Ep012

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The image above shows inVenture’s product in action in Kenya.

This episode is part of a podcast series called “Entrepreneurs & Economic Development” talking to entrepreneurs using business and technology to solve problems at the Bottom of the Pyramid. Listen to the interview by clicking play above. 

iTunes      Stitcher

Subscribe with iTunes for iPhone or Stitcher for Android.

Contest Details: Click here for information on how to enter to win a FREE electronic copy of Ken Bank’s Book. Active until May 6, 2015.

Today’s Guest

Ami Gosalia, Head of Growth at inVenture a financial inclusion company that uses data to create risk profiles among the world’s poorest.

You will learn:

  • How a background in international development and financial economics led Ami to inVenture
  • 3 Changes in Microfinance Risk Assessment in the last 5 years :
    • Smartphones
    • Mobile Money
    • Relationship/Online Data
  • The importance of immediate access to capital in Emerging Markets and how inVenture uses 10,000 data points to assess risk in under 3 minutes!
  • How data and mobile payments could benefit millions of Americans
  • Tips on working with start-ups and starting a career with a social venture
  • How education and marketing are intertwined in emerging markets
  • Ami’s favourite meal when visiting Kenya

Great Quotes

Everyday I get to work on something that can change a #life - @amigosalia Click To Tweet The missing #microfinance piece - low cost risk assessment - @inVenture Click To Tweet Financial inclusion is not just capital, it's also #education - @inVenture #SocInv Click To Tweet 2.5 to 4 Billion people are #un/underbanked - lacking #financial identities - @inVenture Click To Tweet #Credit card penetration in #Kenya is 1% - @inVenture Click To Tweet

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If you have any questions for Ryan, Ami or recommendations for future interviews please place them in the comments section. 

The Mobile Frontier with Ken Banks – Ep011

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This episode is part of a podcast series called “Entrepreneurs & Economic Development” talking to entrepreneurs using business and technology to solve problems at the Bottom of the Pyramid. Listen to the interview by clicking play above. 

iTunes      Stitcher

Subscribe with iTunes for iPhone or Stitcher for Android.

Today’s Guest

Ken Banks is an emerging market mobile technology evangelist, conceptualizing and building FrontlineSMS a product that is used to deliver information to millions of people. Recently Ken wrote “The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator” and has a new project Means of Exchange.

Contest Information

As mentioned during the podcast Ken has graciously offered 3 electronic copies of his book The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator to listeners of Entrepreneurs and Economic Development. The contest runs from now until Wednesday May 6, 2015. Winners will be contacted and announced on an upcoming episode. To enter the contest:

1) Provide a review on iTunes or Stitcher (Click here for instructions) using your name or Twitter handle.

2) Sign up for Ryan Fetterly’s monthly newsletter ‘Inside Emerging Markets’

Bonus: Tweet a link to this episode and tag @Fetterly_BC along with @Kiwanja for an additional entry!

You will learn:

  • How Ken went from teaching himself how to program Commodore Pet computers to developing software that is in use in over 170 countries
  • The stories behind Ken’s 3 Major Achievements (FrontlineSMS, The Rise of the Reluctant Innovator and Means of Exchange)
  • How a social anthropological lens has helped Ken view problems and create solutions
  • How building a Ugandan School, a Nigerian Ape Sanctuary and a broken leg led to Ken becoming a global leader in emerging market mobile
  • How Ken convinced Stanford to accept FrontlineSMS after being initially rejected, a catalyst in his career

Great Quotes

40% of Kenya's #GDP transfers via #mobilemoney - @Kiwanja Click To Tweet #Entrepreneur Advice: Don't think about what you don't have - @Kiwanja Click To Tweet People were laughing when I started working with #Mobile phones in #development - @Kiwanja Click To Tweet How to start a #career in Social #Innovation? #1 Travel #2 Look at International Development… Click To Tweet @FrontlineSMS has become the #Outlook of SMS for many organizations - @Kiwanja Click To Tweet @MeansofExchange is using #technology to make more meaningful local connections - @Kiwanja Click To Tweet

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Contact information for Ken :

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If you have any questions for Ryan, Ken or recommendations for future interviews please place them in the comments section. 

Kamworks

Solar in the Khmer Kingdom – Kamworks – Ep010

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The image above shows a Kamworks Solar Home System (SHS) in action.

This episode is part of a podcast series called “Entrepreneurs & Economic Development” talking to entrepreneurs using business and technology to solve problems at the Bottom of the Pyramid. Listen to the interview by clicking play above. 

iTunes      Stitcher

Subscribe with iTunes for iPhone or Stitcher for Android.

Today’s Guest

Jeroen Verschelling, the Co-Founder and Chairman of Kamworks a renewable energy solutions provider based in Cambodia. Kamworks assembles and distributes branded solar products throughout Cambodia.

You will learn:

  • How a Dutch renewable energy consultant started a solar company in South East Asia
  • How a Mobile Money Partnership with Wing, a PAYG Solar Home System(SHS) and Kiva allows Kamworks to extend credit
  • A description of Kamworks’ PAYG Solar Home System
  • Differences between the African solar market and the Cambodian solar market
  • The human centred design story of dutch university students in Cambodian villages developing their ‘Moonlight’ product and winning participatory design awards
  • Changes in the Cambodian Energy market with new hydro dams and other energy projects coming online

Great Quotes

What did people say when you started a solar business in Cambodia? They thought we were crazy!… Click To Tweet The Cambodian solar market - from car batteries to renewable energy with @Kamworks Click To Tweet The Trick to Cambodian Marketing - Great Word of Mouth @Kamworks Click To Tweet

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Contact Jim or Proximity Designs:

Feel Free to Comment or Connect

If you have any questions for Ryan, Jeroen or recommendations for future interviews please place them in the comments section. 

Proximity Designs

Design that changes Lives – Proximity Designs – Ep 009

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The image above shows Proximity Designs staff developing new products.

This episode is part of a podcast series called “Entrepreneurs & Economic Development” talking to entrepreneurs using business and technology to solve problems at the Bottom of the Pyramid. Listen to the interview by clicking play above. 

iTunes      Stitcher

Subscribe with iTunes for iPhone or Stitcher for Android.

Today’s Guest

Jim Taylor, the Co-Founder and Chief Executive (CEO) of Proximity Designs a Burmese company that designs and distributes products to increase earning potential and improve livelihoods for the worlds poorest.

You will learn:

  • How a job in Mississippi started Jim’s international social venture career
  • The History of Proximity Designs
  • How agriculture pumps and livestock loans can change lives
  • Developing an international corporate culture in an Emerging Market
  • Managing distribution and regional staff in a rapidly changing Burma
  • Fun Question: Jim’s favourite vacation destination in Burma

Great Quotes

You exist to serve a customer @ProximityDesign #Tech4Dev Click To Tweet Myanmar is experiencing an uncorking of potential @ProximityDesign #SocEnt Click To Tweet The difference between a company and an NGO: After-sales service #Impact Click To Tweet

Treadle Pump

treadlepump

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If you have any questions for Ryan, Jim or recommendations for future interviews please place them in the comments section. 

PEG Ghana

PAYG Solar in West Africa – PEG Ghana – Ep008

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The image above shows PEG Ghana staff at a local service centre.

This episode is part of a podcast series called “Entrepreneurs & Economic Development” talking to entrepreneurs using business and technology to solve problems at the Bottom of the Pyramid. Listen to the interview by clicking play above. 

iTunes      Stitcher

Subscribe with iTunes for iPhone or Stitcher for Android.

Today’s Guest

Nate Heller, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of PEG Ghana a pay-as-you-go energy company based out of Ghana.

You will learn:

  • How Nate’s Peace Corp background affected his career
  • Shifting from Crowdfunding for Emerging Markets to PAYG Solar
  • Mobile Money penetration in West Africa
  • M-Kopa’s 1st distribution Partner
  • Last Mile Distribution & Rural Sales Networks
  • Upcycling – Shipping containers to Retail outlets
  • Nate’s Favourite West Africa food

Great Quotes

Solar #PAYG in #WestAfrica has the potential to take off right now! @NateHeller Click To Tweet 2 major impacts on #Africa over the last decade: #microfinance and cell phones Click To Tweet Shipping Containers to Stores: Cut it, Paint it, add shelves @NateHeller #EmergingMarkets Click To Tweet

 The PEG Ghana/M-Kopa Solar Kit

m-kopa

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If you have any questions for Ryan, Nate or recommendations for future interviews please place them in the comments section.