As part of the Social Sector Franchise Initiative at the University of New Hampshire, Master’s student Ilona Drew recently conducted field research of Jibu’s operations in Rwanda. After seeing the Jibu team in action, Ilona came away with inspiring insights including this story of her visit to a new franchise location north of Kigali:
One of the most striking things about my visit was how genuinely enthusiastic and open everyone was about working for such an innovative company like Jibu. When Jane spoke, wide eyed, about some of Jibu’s community outreach efforts, her passion and appreciation for the work that Jibu was doing was contagious and inspiring. At Kibagabaga, we met Jackson, the franchise owner. This brand-new location is a perfect example of why Jibu is so successful. Jackson, with a background in hospitality, started off as a microfranchisee, and quickly joined the ranks of the top performers in Kigali. Recognizing his drive and success, Jibu gave Jackson his own franchise shortly before my visit. Now he will have microfranchisees selling water for him. In our interview, Jackson said that he wishes to work with Jibu for all of his life. At the same store, I met Beliz, a young girl whose life has changed dramatically from her relationship with Jibu. Beliz joined Jibu through Spring Girls, a program where adolescent girls are given basic business-skills training and empowered as entrepreneurs. Through this program, she built her own microfranchise, and then had the opportunity to become store manager for Jackson as he opened his franchise location. She spoke of her excitement as she could finally start saving some money, and looked forward to soon getting her own apartment and paying her own rent.
Read more about Ilona’s experiences on her blog! https://medium.com/@jibucleanwater/radically-inexpensive-water-student-field-research-in-rwanda-focuses-on-bringing-affordable-1e7f4cde46#.x648h481j