Recently I read an article about startups and the author asked, “What’s your business?” I started thinking about Ten for 10’s “business.” My initial thought was that we were in the business of giving water. But it’s so much more than that, because WATER not only serves its intended purpose, but leads to bigger and better things. Water gives life and changes life. It allows kids to concentrate on school work, go to university and have big bright futures. Water transforms a nation and its people in an organic way. It leads to local job creation in the form of water sellers, operators and technicians, and provides great equality for women. Water is a game changer.
If we were a for-profit company, our business model would look completely different. Our goal would be to gain entry into Rwanda for the purpose of building water systems that might use a friend’s company for the rain barrels, a business contact for stones and a big manufacturer of PVC pipe, spigots and transformers to help deliver water to communities. We would collectively strategize how to make the most money off of these projects through government contracts, tax benefits and collection of fees. And the local people would most likely be left out of the conversation and the opportunity to be involved in the process. It would be a typical case of profit over people.
Instead YOU, our supporters, are proving that people matter more than profits. YOU are the ones changing the world through your donations, volunteerism and support of Ten for 10. Are we in the business of giving water? Absolutely! But, with your help, we’re also in the business of nation building, future building and people building…one drop at a time.
In 20 years I predict the economic landscape of Rwanda will look vastly different. And it will have all started with Water Warriors like you and the “Business of Giving Water.”