Articles by Philip Wilson
The Trouble with ‘Free’: Why Treating the Poor as Customers Works Better than Charity
Lack of access to safe water is a leading cause of illness in developing countries. Yet for years, Guatemalan entrepreneur Philip Wilson's family foundation worked to distribute free water filters across the countryside, only to see recipients repurpose them as flower pots and garbage cans. After going into the field to meet real families that were living with unsafe water, he came up with a better approach: a business model that treats the rural poor as consumers of products rather than objects of charity. He explores the reasons this model is working, and the challenges it has faced.
- Social Enterprise, WASH