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Venture Out case study: Edwin Broni-Mensah

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Venture Out case study: Edwin Broni-Mensah

Founder of GiveMeTap

In 2009, Mathematics PhD student Edwin Broni-Mensah’s fitness regime inspired a project that has already changed the lives of over 15,000 people.

“Five years ago, like so many 24-year-olds, there was one thing I wanted more than anything in the world – a six pack. I put myself on an intensive training programme, which meant drinking at least five litres of water every single day. I was really reluctant to buy plastic bottled water, but going into cafés and asking for just water gets you some funny looks.

“It was then that I started thinking, what about the millions of people worldwide that have no access to clean water at all?”

Edwin formulated the idea for social enterprise GiveMeTap, and entered it into Venture Out, the University of Manchester’s signature ideas competition, run by Manchester Enterprise Centre. 

GiveMeTap gives communities across Africa access to clean, safe drinking water, through pumps installed using profits from the sale of stainless steel drinking bottles around the world. Every purchase gives an individual in Africa five years of clean water, and so far Edwin and his team have completed 20 projects across Ghana, Malawi and Namibia. 

Partnering with NGOs working with local communities, GiveMeTap supplies funds to put towards the building of pumps, and also works with its partners to ensure that every community understands how to maintain their pump and is educated on sanitation. 

Edwin submitted his idea to Venture Out in 2009, but it wasn’t successful. Using the feedback he received from Manchester Enterprise Centre, Edwin was able to refine his idea and develop a stronger business case to present to the judges of Venture Further, Venture Out’s partner competition, which takes place at the University of Manchester in semester 2. 

His idea won £2,500 of start-up funding through Venture competitions, and since then the business has gone from strength to strength. To date, Edwin has sold over 70,000 water bottles, and has secured a further £2,900 in funding from UnLtd, a social entrepreneur support programme. In addition, GiveMeTap has attracted the attention of the likes of Deloitte, Google, Uber and HSBC, who have all created their own custom branded bottles. 

“Entering Venture Out was so important for GiveMeTap – it was the catalyst that set the wheels in motion, encouraged me to create a viable and realistic business plan, and allowed me to start making a real different, and helping people who needed it most.

“My advice to anyone thinking of entering this year would be to go for it – you have absolutely nothing to lose, and the support and guidance you receive from the Enterprise Centre is invaluable. It really gets you thinking about where you can take your ideas, putting your knowledge to the test to create solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems.”

Venture Out is the University of Manchester’s signature student ideas competition, run by the Manchester Enterprise Centre. Entries for 2016 close on 7 November, and the finals will be held on Tuesday 6 December in University Place (ground floor). 

For more information about GiveMeTap, please visit: www.givemetap.co.uk

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