Adriaan Mol: less charity, more business
Clearly, I love the way Adriaan sees how to see opportunities doing social-entrepreneurship. I hope I’ ll get hold of his presentation. (update, the presentation is embedded below)
Adriaan’s interest for social entrepreneurship started when he was about to evacuate Somalia, then one somalian guy asked him to leave his water filter. As Adriaan was fed up about what happened in Somalia and didn’t want to give it for free, he told the Somalian guy that he has to buy it for ten dollars. Adriaan didn’t expect the Somalian guy to come back and hand him over the ten dollars. That was an eye-opener for him then he started thinking the other way round, though the motto “less charity, more business”
The interesting point with Adriaan is that he’s been working inside donor-funded projects too (and for a long time), however, he is convinced that aid doesn’t work, that it ends as soon as the donors’ money is over and that sometimes you end up doing things that people don’t actually have a need for. The model he’s trying to implement with Bushproof seems to be the way to go where he tries to do business with the poor while helping them – ironically, he ends up working with donor programs … After 5 years of operations, Adriaan claims bushproof has impacted the life of a million people.
Update: here are the slides Adriaan used during his talk. Worth a view – Very inspiring.
Bio: Adriaan Mool is the COO and co-founder of ToughStuff, specialized in selling solar-powered appliances in emerging markets. He also founded in Bushproof Madagascar that is specialized in bringing water to villages.Bushproof is present in Madagascar since 5 years and has 60 employees. On the “soft” side, Adriaan has a journalism and communication license. On the “hard side”, he’s been involved in humanitarian programs and has also done his military service in a special commando force (oops, I’d better not tease him He is a fervent believer that poverty can be alleviated through entrepreneurship. He is a laureate of 2006 Santa Clara’s Global Social Benefit Incubator. He is a successful pioneer in social entrepreneurship targeting the low-end of the economical pyramid.