2017 Chivas Venture South African winner and Global finalist, James Steere is a visionary with an Oxford University degree who has taken it upon himself to come up with an innovative solution to the water crisis currently facing Africa. His company, I-Drop Water is a for-profit social enterprise that designs, builds and installs drinking water purification and dispensing machines in grocery stores at no cost, sharing income generated from water sales with store owners.
I-Drop Water has so far installed purification and dispensing units in over 55 locations in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Ghana and helped shop owners save almost 995 000 litres of water and over 1300 kilograms of plastic waste associated with traditional bottled-water alternative.
“I sincerely believe in the need for sustainable solutions, and the opportunity exists to create long-term, value-generative solutions through traditional, tested business models and wisdom.” comments Steere. “We are trying to create a future where access to clean, safe drinking water is no longer a dream.” he adds.
I-Drop Water was founded in 2015 but is already transforming the way safe drinking water is bought and sold in southern Africa, a phenomenal accomplishment that saw the company announced as the winner of the South African version of Chivas Regal’s The Venture III and placed third in the global stages.
Chivas Venture is a global search to find, mentor and support burgeoning start-ups that are dedicated to making a difference in their communities. The annual competition sees entrepreneurs compete for a share of $1million in funding for their world changing start-ups. Steere was announced as the South African winner of the social entrepreneurship initiative and represented South Africa in Los Angeles where he won 3rd prize globally.
As far as the Co-Founder of I-Drop Water is concerned, his start-up perfectly encapsulates the Chivas philosophy of Winning the Right Way. Shelley Reeves, Chivas Regal Marketing Manager, reiterated this saying “The Chivas Regal Venture platform is an amazing platform that has an exponential positive effect globally. Each year new entrepreneurs are found and join the existing Chivas network of people changing the world. Winning the right way.”
“We are extremely proud of I-Drop water and the work James and his company are doing. I-Drop water has the potential to change the survival rate of not only people in African but globally as water shortage is a fast growing global crisis. And it originated from South Africa.”
“We are extremely proud that our business is born in Africa and has potential to impact millions of people around the world. We came third globally and Chivas Venture has given us the opportunity to shine the light on the drinking water challenge that so many people face,” Steere says.
“Winning the Chivas Venture has transform our business. The prize money allowed us to massively grow the number of I-Drop Water units in grocery stores across SA and beyond and has significantly increased the number of people with access to safe, affordable drinking water,” he concludes.
For more information about The Venture please go to the below link:
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