KickStart International is a non-profit social enterprise with a mission to lift millions of people out of poverty quickly, cost-effectively and sustainably.


KickStart’s vision of success is to take millions of people out of poverty sustainably, and in doing so, to change the way the world fights poverty. They see the untapped entrepreneurial drive in the world’s poorest people and harness this potential for massive change.

An estimated 20 million small-scale farmers in Africa have access to sufficient renewable water resources to adopt KickStart’s technologies on their farms and turn them into profitable businesses that generate food and income year-round.


Hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent providing aid and other forms of assistance to African countries. Though well-intentioned, there has been little sustainable return on these investments. In sub-Saharan Africa, securing enough food and money to meet basic human needs remains a daily, all-consuming struggle for hundreds of millions of people.

KickStart’s founders, Dr. Martin Fisher, and Nick Moon saw this challenge from a unique perspective. Very different paths led each founder to initially work for the same large development agency in Kenya, where they fortuitously met.

Martin excelled in academia, earning two degrees from Cornell University before completing his Ph.D. in engineering at Stanford. It was after his graduation when he first encountered extreme poverty. In all its depth and nuance, poverty-struck him as a great engineering challenge facing mankind.

Nick, on the other hand, was born in Mumbai to British parents and exposed to the dynamism of the developing world from a young age. A strong-willed idealist, he sought alternatives to traditional education and left school at the age of 17 to pursue his own entrepreneurial endeavors around the world.

Upon meeting in their first job as development practitioners, Martin and Nick compared observations and shared frustrations over the fleeting impacts of the projects on which they worked. They soon discovered that their vastly different experiences had culminated in a shared recognition of the need to examine the shortcomings of traditional development.


A leader in the appropriate design movement, KickStart develops and mass produces high-quality irrigation tools that meet the needs of the poorest farmers in Africa. Their affordable and durable tools are sold through a private sector supply chain to ensure sustainability and promote the broader economic development of the markets in which they work.

KickStart promotes and mass-market the pumps to farmers, partner companies, and organizations working with farmers in Africa to incorporate life-changing technologies into their programs.