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GiveMeTap is December's Featured Business of the Month

Wed, 23 December 2015

Edwin Broni-Mensah started his business, GiveMeTap, whilst he was studying a PhD in Maths at the University of Manchester.
Whilst at university, Edwin embarked on a fitness journey and realised how hard it was to get water refills on the go without having to buy expensive bottled water, whilst millions of people around the world struggle to get any water. This journey led him to starting GiveMeTap.

For every GiveMeTap bottle purchased, someone in Africa is funded to receive five years of clean water. The customers also get access to free water refills through GiveMeTap’s network of cafes and shops.

Edwin initially found it challenging to balance life alongside running GiveMeTap, but he never stopped doing the small things that made the concept work, from visiting cafes to packing individual bottle orders himself. Now, GiveMeTap have launched in America and have their HQ in San Francisco. They still sometimes pack bottles and they still recruit cafes themselves, but this is because they love knowing the community GiveMeTap is fostering. 
Shell LiveWIRE sat down with Edwin to catch up on how the business has been doing since he won a Shell LiveWIRE award five years ago, and to see what’s next for GiveMeTap.

How did you get into entrepreneurship? Did you always want to go into business for yourself?
I had dabbled in starting businesses throughout university, but this was the venture which I saw as my true calling – helping people through business.

What challenges did you face when setting up your business?
The main challenge was getting people to buy the bottles after I produced them and got cafes on board. How would I attract them? I started reading intensely around marketing and traction and slowly built up the business.

What is your proudest achievement with the business?
We have just crossed the milestone of helping 10,000 people gain access to clean water. This is awesome!
You won a Shell LiveWIRE Award back in 2010, how have things changed for you since then?
Back in 2010, we were a Manchester based company. Since then, we moved to London and now to San Francisco. We also have started working with lots of companies and organisations that co-brand the bottle and distribute them to their staff, clients, students and investors. This has been such a great way to partner with companies such as Deloitte, Google and Barclays to create positive social impact both locally and globally.

What’s next for GiveMeTap?
Keep growing! We will soon be expanding our team in San Francisco.

What advice would you give to aspiring young entrepreneurs?
Start now. If you have an idea, any idea at all, start building parts of it right now and keep experimenting and learning. You may realise you have created something amazing very soon!

Got a Smart Idea for a Business?
Do you have a smart business idea that will provide a solution to the world’s future transport, food, energy, or natural resource challenges, or make our urban environments cleaner and more sustainable places to work and live in? If so you can apply online now for funding!


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