One social enterprise that was being heavily name-checked yesterday on Social Enterprise Day, was Red Button Design.
This company is the clever creator of the Midomo water purifier, for use in the developing world. The Midomo is a 50-litre water purifier on a rugged wheeled frame. Fill it from any source, wheel it for 1.5 km and the action of the wheels filters the water to WHO standards and provides safe, pure drinking water — something which, according to this website, around 1 billion people globally have no access to.
So far, so good. But how to fund these marvellous purifiers?
Red Button has teamed up with international jewellery designer Alex Monroe to create the Midomo silver bracelet. Buying a bracelet funds a purifier. Amongst the charms on the bracelet is a tag with the serial number of the purifier you have bought. Type the serial number into the Midomo website and you can track where your purifier is in the world, the community that’s using it, and how it is helping them. That is very slick.
Now, I’m hardly the target demographic for this idea, I grant you (too old, not rich enough and, let’s be honest, not quite posh enough), but I do recognise brilliant — and transferable — marketing when I see it.
Sometimes, you see a business idea and everything about it — the design conception, its execution, the targetting of its core markets, and its PR and marketing — just smells of success.
Anyway, continuing the water theme, here’s a late treat for Social Enterprise Day — the Strada Sextet, with the great bassist Henri Texier and the wonderful Bulgarian trombonist Georgi Kornazov, playing S.O.S Mir, from their album WATER ALERT.