Did you know that 85% of Malawians are small-scale farmers, yet only 11% use irrigation? Further to this >35% of the population are food insecure and 46% of under 5's are stunted due to malnutrition.
Shockingly in 2016 DFID reported that 40% of water points in Malawi are non-functional and remain so for over a year. This is an unsustainable system, water pumps are installed in rural areas, and when they break down there’s no-one around with the skills to repair them.
Beyond Water is a Social enterprise that harnesses and develops local entrepreneurship: setting up, training and mentoring small businesses to build, sell, maintain and repair pumps and wells for domestic and farming use.
In year one of our self-supply pilot project, 25 skilled small businesses brought sustainable access to safe water to 22,164 people for half the per capita cost of the traditional aid model, transforming lives and livelihoods:
- Training and skills development creates profitable businesses contributing to local economies
- Farmers trained in irrigation and conservation farming techniques
- Safe water now an average 11m from home for pump owners who invested (500m+ previously);
- Pump functionality in pilot areas up from average of 55% to 99%; closer reliable access frees women and girls time, keeping them in school for longer;
- Small businesses employed to build/maintain/repair water and sanitation facilities at pre-schools, drastically improving overall educational outcomes at primary and secondary level, especially among girls.
Our start-up social enterprise aims to scale up activities to support the growth of small scale business networks supplying water and sanitation related products and services, particularly irrigation for small scale farmers.
- Level 1: will include technical and business training for entrepreneurs.
- Level 2: will be an accelerator business development support package, available to high performing entrepreneurs to reach economies of scale.
We supply entrepreneurs with localized and national marketing, technology development, procurement and development of reliable supply chains, farmer training in diversification and links to markets, and a sales agent network.
To help individuals purchase their own water sources, we are improving access to credit for farmers through risk reduction packages (pump, fertilizer, seed), and to increase crop productivity we are providing resilience packages for NGOs working with marginal farmers.
We’ve been shortlisted for an Achievement in Sustainable Development: Education, Knowledge and Skills Award at the FT/IFC Transformational Business Awards 2018! This year we are recognized for our groundbreaking Beyond Water self-supply accelerator program.