Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.
SPOUTS is the first social enterprise that I have started from scratch although there have also been various stints in management consulting (McKinsey in South Korea, BCG in Chicago), starting my own tutoring center, being on the leadership board of Harvard College Engineers Without Borders, etc. My co-founder and I started this venture when we were both students in college and have continued to pursue this dream of building the Brita of Africa since graduation last year. With my background in Engineering and my co-Founder's background in Economics, we make a well-balanced team. We started this from scratch with the help of many supporters around us who have donated their time and skills to help grow our business through marketing and designing help, technical support and other operational input. While we might not have the most experience when it comes to double bookkeeping or human resources, we have the requisite humility in knowing when to ask for help.
Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?
SPOUTS has been working with many external partners to help provide clean drinking water to the maximum number of people. SPOUTS has worked with PRIDE microfinance and other financial institutions to provide financing options for our filters so that the upfront cost is no longer a barrier. SPOUTS will expand this network in the coming months by working with Vision Fund / World Vision.
And although SPOUTS doesn't believe in free distribution at the household level, SPOUTS has installed hundreds of filters for schools, clinics, hospitals, prisons, refugee camps, etc. And Save the Children, IDEAS for Uganda, SURGE for Water, Oxfam International have all been pivotal partners in ensuring proper usage of our filters.
Additionally, SPOUTS has worked with the MTN distribution network, the largest telecommunications company in Uganda, to help sell our filters out of retail stores.
As for mentors, SPOUTS has an extensive network for established businesspeople over the past few years of working in Uganda. And through the Unreasonable East Africa network, SPOUTS has received much help.