I am an engineer who used to work for the Department of Defence. I realised within a few years that it was not going to work and so embarked on a career change.
What does your social enterprise do?
Abundant Water provides remote communities in need with the means to make and sell their own water filters. We have so far provided more than 7,000 people with access to clean drinking water.
Recent Monitoring and Evaluation reports have indicated that women and children have been saved hundreds of hours of labour as the water filters drastically reduce the amount of firewood burned and consequently the time required to gather it.
Why are you passionate about this cause?
I am passionate about sustainability. I believe that using the market is a way that local interventions can be more effective because they genuinely engage the local community that they seek to serve. It is also more sustainable as the funds to run the program (in part) come from the local community.
I am motivated by being able to bring positive change in the World because I have experienced that it can be possible and is incredibly rewarding when it is achieved.
What was your biggest challenge in starting your social enterprise?
I think that the biggest challenge is starting/running a social enterprise is that gap between your vision and the current reality. We busied ourselves with learning how to be effective and solve challenges rather than looking at all the problems in front of us, it is an approach that has stood us in good stead to this day.
How has the School for Social Entrepreneurs supported you?
It was a very valuable learning experience. I started work as a social entrepreneur not knowing it was a thing or that there were specific skills that I needed to know. SSE gave me access to targeted learning, experienced mentors and a community of social entrepreneurs to connect and share lessons with.
What are your plans for the future?
Abundant Water was founded with the ambition of providing access to simple clay pot water filter technology that could be made and sold locally. The ambition since the beginning has been to develop a program that could be made available to local communities in need globally.
What would your advice be to a budding social entrepreneur?
Discover what it is that you love