This prolific humanitarian entrepreneur and 2-time author discusses business solutions to poverty in this podcast episode.Through his social ventures, Paul Polak has inspired a revolution in how companies design, price, market and distribute products around the globe.
Dr. Polak is founder and CEO of Windhorse International, a for-profit social venture that aims to help the 2.7 billion customers who live on less than $2 a day. Prior to founding Windhorse, Dr. Polak founded Design Revolution (D-Rev), a non-profit design incubator for technologies that serve customers living on less than $4 a day. In 1981, Dr. Polak founded International Development Enterprises (iDE), which has brought nearly 20 million of the world’s poorest people out of poverty by making radically affordable irrigation technology available to farmers.
If you don’t know the customer and context, the odds are you won’t be successful.. But tenacity is probably the most important variable.
03:45 – Is affordable design still your why?
06:01 – What are the benefits of invasive species?
09:28 – Tell us more about your thoughts on scale with your businesses.
12:50 – What have you learned about working with multinational companies that can be
applied to Humanitarian work?
17:33 – The treadle pump: an example of affordable, scalable technology.
21:59 – What’s your own piece of advice to entrepreneurs?
23:04 – Why do you tell people to think like a child?
27:11 – How to sell drinking water in rural areas.
32:51 – How many customers have you talked to in your lifetime?
34:30 – Know your customer.
To learn more about Paul Polak or order his books, The Business Solution to Poverty and Out of Poverty, please check out his website www.paulpolak.com
[The podcast name 22Lightbulbs is from Chinese numerology where the number 22 serves as the destiny number of individuals who are builders and leaders.]