Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Welcome to Burro
Burro is a new kind of company dedicated to delivering high-quality, affordable goods and services to low-income families in the developing world. Our for-profit business model will allow us to sustainably serve consumers who are largely ignored by the marketplace but who are eager and able to spend on innovations that improve their productivity.
The world's poorest people spend some $5 trillion annually on goods and services, but few businesses pay careful attention to meeting the particular needs of those who earn a dollar or two a day. Much of what is offered to them is overpriced, poorly made, and sold at inconvenient locations. But Burro puts its clients first. Like the hardworking pack animal that inspired our name, we are truly out there—in the fields and on the trails, helping our clients live more comfortably and work more productively.
Burro's first offering is a rechargeable battery service that our clients use predominantly for flashlights, radios, and cell phone charging. It costs less than available throwaway batteries while delivering more power and eliminating potentially hazardous waste. Roughly half of Ghana's 23 million people live without electricity, including the vast majority of rural communities. For these people, little things can mean a lot—a Ghanaian family can spend half a day's income on a pair of poor-quality, throwaway batteries just so a child can do a few hours' homework at night. Burro's better battery offering is already helping such families to do more with their lives.
We are conducting our pilot in Koforidua, the capital of the Eastern Region of Ghana, a peaceful, democratic nation in West Africa.
See NY Times article "When Microcredit Won't Do" & comment (below):
South Thomaston, Maine
February 1st, 2011
This is very similar to what my brother, Whit Alexander, is doing now in Ghana with Burro (www.burrobrand.biz) and the subject of my next book, The Gong-Gong Man, due out early next year from Hyperion. His model is also creating a sustainable for-profit business that recruits local villagers as salespeople in a consignment model. His core offering is a rechargeable (NiMH) AA battery that he essentially rents to off-grid villagers, who exchange for fresh at far less than the cost of the throwaway batteries most Ghanaians use. The batteries are charged by Burro at a central grid location. They are used in flashlights, radios and proprietary cell phone chargers that Burro also sells. Unlike solar devices, which are expensive and don't work optimally during the rainy season, Burro's batteries are extremely versatile and always provide plenty of power. His latest product is a battery-powered lantern he developed in partnership with Greenlight Planet that provides as much light as kerosene hurricane lamps at one-fifth the cost, without the danger and odor. You can learn more at Burro's website or my own blog related to my upcoming book (maxalexander.info).
Burro. Do More.
Who We Are
Whit Alexander, Founder
Burro Brand Ghana Ltd.
PO Box KF721
Hospital Road (near Market Street, green office)
Koforidua, Eastern Region, Ghana
Posted by catherine todd at 2/02/2011 01:12:00 AM 0 comments Links to this post
Labels: burrobrand.biz, rechargable lantern, rechargeable battery service