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Aaron is a social entrepreneur, working to bring financial inclusion to the millions left behind in the traditional financial landscape, currently focusing on providing credit and market access for rural Latin American farmers. His prior experience includes consulting with some of the top 75 US Banks on lending best practices, credit risk management, and technology implementation. He recently finished his MBA at Colorado State University in the Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise Program, and is passionate about the impacts design thinking and human centered design can have on some of the world's toughest challenges.
Hi Jake - great updates! Rural manufacturing and distribution are definitely key challenges but I think some of the HCD approaches will really benefit you in helping find local solutions that can be readily adopted. Interviewing local mechanics, metal workers, and other similar laborers to understand their expertise, supply chain, and barriers will really help you answer the question of how you might train and empower them to create the product themselves.
As I've thought about it more, I anticipate distribution will be most easily facilitated through existing solar manufacturers/distributors - have you looked at the prospects of having the SunSaluter sold pre-integrated into the solar panel by the manufacturer (or at least alongside as 1 single purchase, rather than an add on)? If the manufacturer can make claims about the electricity generation including the 30% gains thanks to SunSaluter they will be more likely to make more sales, and probably more than happy to purchase and package your product! Some of the most successful products are sold as a "white-label" product, and resold, often without the consumer even knowing it, while having even greater financial and social impact!
Let me know what else I can do to help brainstorm/test potential models or design additional HCD experiments!
Looks great Tosh - great job on the additional diagrams and visuals! I like the referral revenue model - i think that that adds significantly to the entire value chain without extracting any value from the end users. As long as it's transparently communicated I think it's a great model to test.
The consulting model is certainly an interesting one as well - plenty of fortunes have been made consulting/assisting otherwise free or socially beneficial efforts, and given the experience of your team that may be something you can capitalize on.
Are there any MVPs (Minimum Viable Products http://theleanstartup.com/principles) that you can use to determine which revenue model is most attractive (or if possibly both can coincide)?
Keep up the great work - finding a viable economically sustainable model is one of the biggest challenges facing social/environmental enterprises, but it's a challenge worth pursuing and will have lasting impact!