Toughstuff:a system based on trade,not aid

TEDxTana madagascar  Toughstuff:a system based on trade,not aid

Malagasy rural people call their product “tôftôf”, you guessed it, we’re talking about ToughStuff a solar-power device used for lighting and small appliances distributed throughout Madagascar via old 2CV vehicles and bicycles.

I always wondered the reason for the “TOUGH” of this name, well I had my demo when Andrew just standed on one of the toughstuff lamp. As if it wasn’t enough, he threw one of the solar power onto the floor and it didn’t break (was it still working, I don’t know, but I guess he wouldn’t do that kind of demo it wasn’t supposed to work). On one of the video (ok, it’s more an advert), we could even see a child playing with one lamp and using it as a sailboat in the water, a 2CV run on the solar power and a funny passage showed one peasant still saying “still tough0″

Anyway, the toughstuff system is based on three principles:

– don’t give free stuff as people won’t value them

– reduce expenditure

– generate wealth

The toughstuff model is amazing, as there are almost 1.5 billion people in the world that can benefit from such solution.

BTW, if you ever have the chance to talk to Andrew Tanswell, don’t refer to the people constituing his segment market as “the base of the pyramid”:he hates it

Bio:Andrew Tanswell is the CEO of ToughStuff. A british citizen, he’s been working in the change management and in strategic positions for business extension  . He then opened his consulting niche-focused company for public and commercial clients. Andrew Tanswell has huge experience in international aid therough the Swiss Aid Agency Medair. He is a Global Social Benefit Incubator 2009 alumni. Andrew Tanswell is an experienced entrepreneur for start-up or buy-out and is passionate about the role of entrepreneurship for alleviating poverty.

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