The Beginning of The End of Poverty: The KickStart Legacy
KickStart International is a non-profit social enterprise with a mission to lift millions of people out of poverty quickly, cost-effectively, and sustainably, by enabling them to earn a lot more money. Co-founded by Dr Martin Fisher and Nick Moon, KickStart has been celebrated for our work and innovation since our inception over 25 years ago
What we do
We introduce Sub-Saharan Africa’s small-scale farmers to irrigation technologies that enable them to make more money, year-round, and thereby take a major step out of poverty. Since 2015, KickStart has leveraged our partnership model towards our two strategic goals of lifting a second million people out of poverty, and developing new irrigation solutions and catalyzing broad-scale irrigation across Africa.
How we work
KickStart designs and mass-produces durable yet affordable “MoneyMaker” branded irrigation pumps for small-scale farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa. We sell these pumps to private sector distributors across 17 countries in Southern, Eastern, and Western Africa. At the same time, we partner with nongovernmental organizations and government agencies to promote the sales and distribution of pumps to rural farmers in their beneficiary networks.
KickStart success stories
A Letter from Alice: Nairobi, Kenya
Let me tell you how the MoneyMaker pump has changed my life in just five years. I’ve been able to build a new second-level home; expand my garden plot into two green acres; buy cows, sheep, rabbits, and dogs; become a landlord; and most recently, a mother of a Nairobi University graduate. I even use my farm as a KickStart pump demonstration site to spread the word on irrigation in my community.
Before, I worried season after season whether this year’s harvest would provide enough, trying to work against unpredictable rain, with too little to show for my efforts. I used a jerrycan and buckets and my knees ached all the time from hand watering just a tiny piece of what I’m able to farm today. Sometimes during the dry season, we could not harvest at all. One day, I had gone to a local shop to buy water during a drought, when I saw this pump. I got curious and thought, I want that tool, I need that tool. The very next day I bought it through M-Pesa*, within the week the distributor taught me how to use it, and within a fortnight I was irrigating my land… I kick-started my life!
You should’ve seen my little plot – if it were not for this pump, what would it be? With the seasons getting drier and raining less, I was worried, but with this tool, I know I can sustain myself in even the driest of seasons. I’ve been self-reliant, farming for myself, and selling to my neighbours. Actually this is a multi-purpose pump, it’s not only for farming– I use it to pump water into my home, and it’s helped me wash my cowshed easily. I’ve even made money renting this pump to neighbours, replacing the labour to take water up 5 stories. This tool – it works for you!
I am most proud to say that since using this pump, my daughter never stayed home a day because there was no money for books, transport, or school fees. Graduating with a degree in political science, she now wants to continue with agriculture policy after seeing my success. And I’m not done yet – I’m building a market shop to sell my vegetables, animal products, and hope to one day become a vendor of KickStart MoneyMaker pumps!
To the KickStart family– I look at this pump and I feel that it has done so much for me. It has changed my life, and I thank you because a person is happier when they have money in their pocket to create opportunities for themselves. May God bless the organization, directors, and supporters– and may we grow the KickStart family to discover more tools that help people like me to achieve their dreams.
Alice Kemunto Kengere, Farmer & Businesswoman
*MPesa is a very popular mobile phone-based money transfer, financing, and microfinancing service in Nairobi that KickStart and its distributors use.
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