Water scarcity is one of the greatest problems faced by the world. When people do not have access to clean, safe drinking water, all aspects of their lives — from health, to education, to safety — are negatively impacted. Andrea Demichelis is a young Italian entrepreneur who has come up with an ingenious way to chip away at this global issue. Andrea founded Elliot For Water, a search engine that gives over half of its profits to finance clean water projects.
In this episode, we hear more about the project’s mission and how Andrea came to be interested in water. We find out about their partnership with Bing and how the search engine plans to make money. There are so many clean water projects out there already, but many of them fail because they do not reflect the community’s needs. Andrea is aware of this and talks about the organizations they have chosen to work with to ensure they are making a positive impact rather than a negative one. Our conversation also touches on how Elliot For Water makes the user experience attractive, why working in the social enterprise space should not mean compromising profit, and what the future has in store for the search engine. We all search the internet numerous times a day, so imagine what a difference it could make if we attached this everyday activity to such an impactful project? Check out the full episode at one of the links below on your favorite podcast platform:
Key Points From This Episode
Elliot For Water works the same way as Google; it’s a search engine. The profits they make (and mostly donate) are made from companies paying the search engine to be advertised to users, hoping for a click.
Andrea did not really have to sell the concept of Elliot For Water to corporations because corporate social responsibility is growing. All he needed to do was find champions within large organizations to help him sell his idea.
There are so many organizations in the water space, so vetting who Elliot for Water works with is essential. Many water projects fail because they are not embedded in the community and ultimately cause more harm than good. Attaching a water project to other social initiatives allows the project to be more sustainable.
Andrea’s pivot from his career as a stockbroker to Elliot For Water is largely tied to the fact that he is not afraid to try new things. He believes in making an impact and having a purpose that is not only about making money for money’s sake.
There is no reason that someone working in the social enterprise space should earn less than a banker or a lawyer. People deserve to be paid well for the work that they do. This is very important for Andrea and the mission he hopes to achieve.
Up next for Elliot for Water is a mobile app, since so many people search on their phones throughout the day. Right now, you can support the cause by making Elliot for Water your default browser, giving feedback on the user experience, spreading the word, and downloading the app when it’s released.
“Elliot For Water is a search engine just like Google. The difference is that we use 60% of the profit we make to finance clean water projects and help people in getting access to water.” — @Andrea_e4w [0:01:53]
“If we can manage to give people that basic need, which is water, then they can be in charge of their own life.” — @Andrea_e4w [0:11:21]
“The most important part will be focusing on the search engine itself, making it as good as we possibly can so that people want to use it.” — @Andrea_e4w [0:24:58]
“I need to make sure that Elliot For Water is an economically successful company so that the people working with us stay happy and they can manage to live very well.” — @Andrea_e4w [0:36:51]