Self-Reliance Spotlight: KickStart


I’m Heather Vale Goss with a Self-Reliance Spotlight, where we look at people and organizations that give a hand up, not a handout.

KickStart was developed in 2005 by Martin Fisher and Nick Moon, but it morphed out of a previous organization they founded in 1991. KickStart’s mission is to lift millions of Africans out of poverty, quickly, cost-effectively and sustainably. They do it by designing, promoting and mass-marketing simple money-making tools that farmers buy to start profitable family enterprises.

Their 5-step process is to Identify Opportunities, Design Products, Establish a Supply Chain, Develop the Market, and Measure and Move Along.

First they make sure to select the right business opportunities, which will serve the needs of poor people and make money within months. Then they design tools that will generate income, are affordable, easy to use and durable, among other criteria. To establish a supply chain, they look for high-volume manufacturers and local retailers to sell them. Selling rather than giving away the tools means widespread availability, fair distribution and motivated users.

To help as many people as possible, developing the market includes making the tools well known and conveying their value. Finally, measuring and moving along is all about distributing enough products in an area so that the cost to help more families overcome poverty becomes less. Once the system is running in a self-sufficient manner, they focus on a new area.

Kickstart is helping kick start entrepreneurs


A 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization

Federal Identification Number (EIN): 46-3416157

P.O. Box 6654
San Rafael, CA 94903