It started with six packs.
In 2009, Edwin Broni-Mensah was on a journey to get back into shape before turning 25. Her exercise routine made her realize how hard it is to avoid buying plastic water bottles.
“[My] intake is very high. I often stop at restaurants and ask them to fill me up because I’m trying to reach my six-pack goal,” says Edwin. “But they always encourage me to buy water in plastic bottles.”
Inspired by these relationships, Edwin thought of a way to get hotels to offer free tap water to guests. He started GiveMeTap and created an app that designed a friendly water company that also sold bottles of water that his supporters used to get the tap water. The proceeds also pay for the construction of various wells in Ghana, Malawi and Namibia.
Not only did this idea appeal to restaurant and cafe owners, it also attracted the attention of the press.
“GiveMeTap was on the front page of The Observer, it changed my whole life and business environment,” says Edwin. “I sold everything immediately. I remember waking up in the morning, finding my inbox full of orders, and I couldn’t figure out what was going on.
Edwin said, “I have no intention of working with corporate clients. “I was invited to speak at a meeting, and after the speech, one of the partners of the firm said, ‘I will – buy a bottle of water for each audience. “Then the light bulb went off.”
Corporate partners such as Uber, Ralph Lauren, and Google are partnering with GiveMeTap by replacing their users with alternative water bottles. Their purchases of these bottles pay for the construction of wells in Africa, and the model benefits the company financially.
Edwin explains: “They can [set up a] P&L [profit and loss] for themselves in 18 months, which means they are profitable with the equipment by not buying plastic cups. “They can reduce waste and create a greater impact through CSR [corporate social responsibility] by helping people get clean drinking water.”
GiveMeTap’s growth journey is just one of the topics Edwin shares in our miniseries, Shopify On Location. Listen to the full interview to hear Edwin’s tips for applying to incubators, advice for those who want to start a business entirely, and how he enriches his life to succeed in his professional life.