skip to content

News & Updates

KickStart Updates

The 4 Questions That Need To Be Answered Before Investing In Social Impact

InSTEDD CEO Eduardo Jezierski encourages people to asks themselves 4 questions before donating to an organization: 1. Is it needed? 2. Does it work? 3. Will it get to those who need it? 4. Will they use it correctly? He... continue reading »

The Conversation Features KickStart's "Sublime Design"

"As the name suggests, the KickStart MoneyMaker pump’s ultimate function is not irrigation. Rather, it functions as a tool to move some of the poorest people in Africa from subsistence to commercial farming." Check out the full article here... continue reading »

Blog Feature in Business Fights Poverty

Nick Moon, KickStart's Co-Founder, explains what the power of business and irrigation can do to do for millions of families across Africa: continue reading »

KickStart in Forbes Magazine! "How A Water Pump Is Changing The Lives Of Farmers In Africa"

Citi’s Voice on featured KickStart’s work to enable poor farmers to change their lives with our transformative technologies. Read the full article here.... continue reading »

"The Simple Water Pump That’s Changing Lives Across the World" - WIRED Magazine

"Nick Moon and Martin Fisher spent years working on development projects in Africa, only to see them fizzle. Giving stuff away wasn’t effective: Either the recipients didn’t want what they offered or the effort undercut local entrepreneurs. So in the... continue reading »

KickStart Featured in Huffington Post Blog: Changing the Game for Female Farmers

KickStart's MoneyMaker irrigation pumps are enabling women to produce more crops year round, start a small business selling her produce, and earns significantly more money. With new income, women are gaining more respect within their household and becoming more of... continue reading »

New Zambia Program Launched!

Last week, KickStart launched a new country program in Zambia. The launch was in partnership with the IKEA Foundation. Through our partnership, KickStart will empower poor rural families in Zambia and throughout the Southern Africa region to lift themselves out... continue reading »

Not All Social Problems Can Be Solved by Business

Take a look at Kathleen Kelly Janus' Huff Post blog post discussing the importance of supporting social entrepreneurs through philanthropy. "The problem is that social entrepreneurs are now coming under increasingly unrealistic pressure to fund more and more of their... continue reading »

89% of Non-Profits Nationwide Cannot Say This.

KickStart International received its 3rd consecutive 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator. Only 11% of non-profits across America can claim that! 'KickStart International outperforms most other charities in America. This exceptional designation from Charity Navigator differentiates KickStart International from its peers... continue reading »

Kenya Airways' Magazine Features KickStart

Kenya Airways' in-flight magazine, msafiri, featured 4 organizations in their water issue. We are honored to be of them. Take a look!: Kenya Airways' in-flight magazine, msafiri... continue reading »

Shamba Shape-Up, Episode 2!

KickStart's MoneyMaker pumps were featured in another episode of the popular Kenyan TV show, Shamba Sahpe-Up! Check out the full episode here... continue reading »

KickStart named one of CGI's "10 Game-Changing Examples of Advocacy and Innovation"

KickStart is honored to be recognized in The Clinton Global Initiative's list of the 10 Game-Changing Examples of Advocacy and Innovation - Mobilizing for Impact Across Africa. To see the full list, click here.... continue reading »

KickStart Highlighted in USAID Article for Cultivating Youth Development

"“A good teacher must be somebody who is not short-tempered, someone who can mediate, someone who can inspire and motivate, and most of all someone who can unite people.” Although she might not realize it, Jane is describing herself". Read... continue reading »

With Skoll Foundation Support, Citi Provides Financing for KickStart International

Citi Bank announced today that they will provide a working capital loan to KickStart. With support from the Skoll Foundation, the loan will be the first from Citi directed to the social enterprise sector and will specifically support smallholder farmers... continue reading »

Martin Fisher Presents at the African First Ladies Summit

KickStart's Co-Founder and CEO participated on a panel at the African First Ladies Summit: Investing in Women: Strengthening Africa in July this year. The event was attended by Michelle Obama, Laura and George Bush, and first ladies all across Africa.... continue reading »

KickStart's Irrigation Pumps Featured in Popular Kenyan Reality TV Show, Shamba Shape UP

To watch the episode, click here.... continue reading »

Co-Founder, Martin Fisher, participated on the panel of The Bush Center's First Ladies Summit

Along with Michelle Obama and Laura Bush, Martin Fisher was selected to sit on the panel of the First ladies Summit in Dar es Salaam on July 2nd and 3rd. This was an honor for Martin and KickStart to be... continue reading »

Presenting KickStart's FY2012 Annual Report

We are pleased to share with you KickStart’s online FY2012 Annual Report. Last year was an important one in KickStart’s development as we launched new programs and built on existing initiatives. The report details these accomplishments, none of which would... continue reading »

USAID to Support KickStart’s Innovations in Rural Financing

We are excited to announce a new grant from USAID's Development Innovation Ventures that will enable Kickstart to further test our micro-financing innovations to break down barriers to pump adoption. " Development Innovation Ventures (DIV) supports breakthrough solutions to the... continue reading »

Public Interest Design 100 Global

This article represents 100 individuals and teams working at the intersection of design and service globally. Check it out! You may recognize #29!... continue reading »

The United Nations and Economic Social Council's Conference on Partnering for Innovative Solutions for Sustainable Development

KickStart's Chief Development and Partnerships officer was invited to speak at the United Nations and Economic Social Council's conference on April 24, 2013 in New York City to discuss KickStart's model and how we are using an innovative approach to... continue reading »

Alison Jones Photography

Alison Jones visited our farmers in Kenya, documenting her trip beautifully through photography. Check it out here!.... continue reading »

Help a Farmer out of Poverty with a PIF Apparel Inspirational T!

With each purchase of a PIF (Pay It Forward) Apparel Inspirational T, you help a farming family lift themselves out of poverty. Change the way the world fights poverty today at continue reading »

Kicking the Year Off Right!

KickStart's February 2013 newletter. Click through and read our highlights! Kariibu! KickStart Newsletter February 2013.pdf... continue reading »

Janji: Waving the Flag

Janji, a key donor of KickStart, was featured in Runner's World Magazine for their unique business model. Janji's founders, Mike Burnstein and Dave Spandorfer, connected the need of nutritious food and water for runners to the food and water crisis... continue reading »

KickStart Named to The Global Journal's Top 100 Best NGO List

In the first international ranking of its kind, this week KickStart was named one of the Top 100 NGO's of the Year by the renowned publication, The Global Journal. The Global Journal sought to honor top NGOs who exhibit "the... continue reading »

Martin Fisher Featured in Port Magazine

Co-Founder and CEO, Martin Fisher, was recognized for his innovative approach to making change in Africa and giving sub-Saharan African farmers the opportunity they deserve.... continue reading »

700,000 people out of poverty!

As of December 2012, KickStart enabled 700,000 people to lift themselves out of poverty! Help us empower more! Donate Now.... continue reading »

Garbage site turns into bread basket in Tanzania - KickStart's feature in People Daily

A reclaimed garbage site in Arusha, Tanzania, sprouts with kales thanks to KickStart's irrigation pump and is feeding a whole village. As the first sun rays filters through windows and doors of households in East Africa, Stephen Obuya, a father... continue reading »

KickStart featured in popular Norwegian magazine, Aftenposten Innskit

Aftenposten is the largest subscription newspaper in Norway and the biggest newspaper in the Greater Oslo Area. In addition to keeping the readers updated on the latest domestic and external news, Aftenposten is also considered Norway's largest market place and... continue reading »

Co-Founder Nick Moon to speak about market based approaches to poverty reduction, food security, economic empowerment and climate change on January 16

Follow the livestream on January 16th at 18:30EET/11:30 EST here. Effective pursuing of sustainable development globally requires both political high-level agreements and practical implementation on the ground. Nick Moon takes care of the latter. As a co-founder of the KickStart... continue reading »

Learn about KickStart from the CEO and Co-Founder on KZSU Stanford radio

Kickstart CEO and Co-Founder, Martin Fisher, spoke with the Modern Tech News show on KZSU Stanford about how simple technologies can help change the world. In the broadcast, he describes some of the technologies that he developed that help address... continue reading »

The IKEA Foudation and KickStart partner to launch Zambia program

The IKEA Foundation pledges to help launch KickStart International’s new program in Zambia and Southern Africa to create sustainable livelihoods for rural poor September 24, 2012—New York, New York— In line with the theme of the 2012 CGI Annual Meeting,... continue reading »

CLASSY Awards Weekend 2012

KickStart is voted runner-up in their category Although KickStart did not win in the category of Poverty & Hunger Relief it was a huge honor to be nominated as a Western Regional Winner. We would like to congratulate the Peanut... continue reading »

KickStart Featured in The Atlantic

By Isobel Coleman - 7 Aug 2012 Isobel Coleman is the Senior Fellow and Director of the Civil Society, Markets, and Democracy Initiative and Director of the Women and Foreign Policy Program at Council on Foreign Relations. She blogs at... continue reading »

The Sosense Cycling Team Rides for KickStart!

The Haute Route UPDATE: Stage 4 of the Haute Route saw 600 riders take on the iconic Alpe d'Huez Individual Time Trial, following in the footsteps of some of the world's greatest cycling heroes. The diversity of the peloton was... continue reading »

KickStart Voted Western Region Winner - CLASSY Awards 2012

KickStart is excited and honored to have been voted in - by you, our wonderful supporters - along with the Classy Awards Judging Panel as the, drumroll please... Western Region Winner in the category of Poverty & Hunger Relief for... continue reading »

Thank you Voting for KickStart in the CLASSY Awards!

UPDATE 3: Thank you to everyone who voted for KickStart! We will know soon whether we have been voted in as a finalist. Please check back! UPDATE 2: VOTING CLOSES JULY 26TH! PLEASE VOTE FOR KICKSTART! UPDATE 1: KickStart is... continue reading »

KickStart in the New York Times

KickStart is excited and honored to be included in Nicholas Kristof's Op-Ed piece, and accompanying video on the New York Times' website. Both discuss the vital importance of simple, effective, and sustainable international aid interventions. KickStart is featured as a... continue reading »

Nick Moon At the World Economic Forum, Addis Ababa

Connect Earth and the Ether for Our Green Revolution Three intense days at the World Economic Forum in Addis Ababa. The city is a traffic packed building site, high rises and highways growing on the humus of shacks and alleys.... continue reading »

Martin Fisher at Duke University

May 22, 2012 / Duke University / Faith & Leadership Throughout Africa, KickStart is lifting thousands of families out of poverty by helping them address their greatest need: finding a way to make more money, says the nonprofit's CEO. In... continue reading » Interview with KickStart

From - April 5 2012 Africa: Kickstarting Entrepreneurship and Progress KickStart, a non-proft that promotes technology and entrepreneurism in Africa, was among those honoured at the first Innovation Award for the Empowerment of Women and Girls held recently in... continue reading »

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Presents KickStart With First-Ever Innovation Award

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented KickStart with the first-ever Innovation Award for the Empowerment of Women and Girls in Washington DC on March 9, 2012. KickStart was one of only three NGO’s sharing the honor, and each... continue reading »

KickStart: One of Three Winners of the First Innovation Award for the Empowerment of Women and Girls

From The Rockefeller Foundation Website On Friday, March 9, 2012 at 9:45 a.m., Secretary Clinton and The Rockefeller Foundation President Dr. Judith Rodin will announce the recipients of the Secretary’s Innovation Award for the Empowerment of Women and Girls.... continue reading »

International Women's Day 2012

Women entrepreneurs have the potential to spur major economic growth in rural Africa. KickStart is breaking down barriers that have prevented women from taking charge of their financial empowerment. The Value Girls Program: Jane’s Story Jane Atieno and her husband... continue reading »

KickStart's FY2011 Annual Report

We are pleased to share with you the FY2011 Annual Report for KickStart International. This report is about how, thanks to the generosity of our supporters, nearly ninety thousand women, men, and children were lifted out of poverty in... continue reading »

KickStart Named to The Global Journal's Top 100 Best NGO List

In the first international ranking of its kind, this week KickStart was named one of the TOP 100 BEST NGOs IN THE WORLD by the renowned publication The Global Journal. KickStart was cited for "changing the way the world fights... continue reading »

KickStart Mobile Layaway Program Update

Innovative Financing for the Small-holder Farmer KickStart has designed and introduced an exciting new solution to get more pumps into action: micro-payments via cell phones. Mobile Layaway, marketed as "Tone Kwa Tone Pata Pump" (Swahili for "Drop by Drop Gets... continue reading »

KickStart Awarded 4-Star Rating from Charity Navigator

Read our letter below from Ken Berger, Charity Navigator’s president & CEO, informing KickStart that we have received a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America's largest and most-utilized independent evaluator of charities. Dear Martin Fisher: On behalf of Charity Navigator,... continue reading »

KickStart is Listed on Forbes' List of the Top 30 Social Entrepreneurs

Helen Coster, Forbes Staff 11/30/2011 Darell Hammond read a Washington Post article about children who suffocated while playing in an abandoned car because they had nowhere else to play. Willy Foote met vanilla farmers in Mexico who didn't have access... continue reading »

Take Part Video: Innovators in Action - Martin Fisher

Martin Fisher: Pumping the Primer of Africa's Middle Class KickStart cofounder on how low-cost tools can create wealth, not just jobs, in the developing world. After her husband passed away from AIDS in 1997, Janet Ondiek was left to care... continue reading »

KickStart Honored on CIO (East Africa) Magazine's Top 100 ICT List

Indeed it is a proud moment for KickStart to be recognized in the CIO Magazine's Top 100 companies using ICT (Information and Communications Technology) to add Business value. Last night KickStart was honored at the CIO 100 2011 Gala awards... continue reading »

KickStart is a Hall STEPS Foundation Grant Recipient for Fall 2011

KickStart is excited to announce that it has been chosen, along with WorldVision, by The Hall STEPS Foundation as one of their Fall 2011 grant recipients! We are looking forward to working with the Foundation to contribute to innovative efforts... continue reading »

Looking to Africa for Innovation

Nikki Wilson and Rob Wilson Guardian Professional, Friday 18 November 2011 05.16 EST British social entrepreneurs limit themselves by using conventional models but can learn from innovative projects overseas, argue Nikki and Rob Wilson We fight hard to convince ourselves... continue reading »

Turning smallholder farmers into business people

Agriculture, Feature Articles, Tanzania | Jaco Maritz | November 4, 2011 at 18:22 KickStart, an NGO founded 20 years ago in Kenya, aims boost the incomes of smallholder farmers, not through handouts, but by selling them tools to improve their... continue reading »

KickStart Featured in Article

Solar Sister and NextAid Showcase 5 Promising Technologies for Africa by Rachel Cernansky, Boulder, Colorado A Little Human Effort, A Lot of Water The Hip Pump is a human-powered water pump from Kickstart, an organization that understands what many in... continue reading »

KickStart Announces New Commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative 2011

This week Martin Fisher, CEO of KickStart International will be announcing a new commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) entitled KickStart - Half a Million People out of Poverty. With the announcement of this commitment, KickStart will create 100,000... continue reading »

Bridging the Gender Divide in Technology

From ICRW (International Center for Research on Women) Tue, 09/20/2011 New research aims to learn from efforts to bring technology to women in developing countries Technology has changed the way the world works and lives. But many of the world’s... continue reading »

Karibu! KickStart's Fall 2011 Newsletter

Please click through to read! Karibu! - KickStart Newsletter - Fall 2011.pdf... continue reading »

Changemakers "On the Up"

Their blog, "On the Up", details Rob & Nikki Wilson's journey to discover Africa's most inspirational social entrepreneurs.Please check out their profile of KickStart and our Co-Founder, Nick Moon, here. Thank you Rob & Nikki!... continue reading »

A Special Letter from Martin and Nick about the Famine

Dear Friends of KickStart, We are reaching out to you because as a friend of KickStart you are a friend of Africa. We know you are aware of the dreadful famine in Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia. Thousands have already died,... continue reading »

Follow KickStart_Intl on Twitter KickStart is Now on Twitter

Follow us here:... continue reading »

KickStart's Mobile Layaway Program Featured in Fast Company

The New Microfinancing: SMS-Based Layaway To The Rescue By Gregory Ferenstein KickStart has introduced an innovative layaway program to African farmers so they can invest in low-cost irrigation pumps. Microfinance, the Nobel Prize-winning initiative to turn aspiring Third World entrepreneurs... continue reading »

KickStart Partners With Brooklyn Bridge Over Cambodia

By Rachel Signer Original Article Lack of access to water is a crucial roadblock in the path from poverty to wealth for many rural societies. Without irrigation techniques, farmers must rely on rainfall that may only come a few times... continue reading »

World Water Day 2011

For Food’s Sake, Let Me Have Some Water! By Nick Moon, Founding Director, KickStart International Water is Life and we all have a right to it. In wealthy countries people enjoy this right, generally at the mere turn of a... continue reading »

Martin Fisher at EWB Conference, January 2011

Martin Fisher, Co-Founder & CEO, KickStart give the closing keynote address at Kumvana, the EWB 10th anniversary National Conference on Saturday, January 15, 2011. A with conversation between Martin Fisher and John Githongo about the future of Africa.... continue reading »

Nick Moon and Others at African Revolutions

From December 2010 Last year, 17 African countries marked 50 years of independence. The Mantle and Project Africa's joint series, African Revolutions, highlighted this milestone with a series of live events and online publications examining each of these countries.... continue reading »

Martin Fisher Speaks at NYU

December 2010 Martin Fisher, KickStart's CEO, participated in the NYU Catherine B. Reynolds Program in Social Entrepreneurship Speaker Series where he spoke about the successes and challenges facing social enterprises in Africa . You can find a video of his... continue reading »

KickStart-International Top Project of New Charity Website Featured in The New York Times

Written by Eddie Scher - Skoll Foundation KickStart-International, founded by Skoll Awardees Martin Fisher and Nick Moon, is featured as a Top Project on This new online charity community was highlighted this week in The New York Times, A... continue reading »

KickStart Receives Funding from Kiwanis International Foundation

December 1st, 2010 KickStart is pleased to announce that it has received funding from the Kiwanis International Foundation for ongoing operations in the Tipping Point Area of Kenya (the region between Eldoret and Kitale). KickStart is using this funding to... continue reading »

"Tone Kwa Tone" Layaway Pilot Program in Kenya

Written by melissaulbricht at MobileActive In September 2010, KickStart launched a pilot mobile layaway service to help small-scale farmers purchase irrigation pumps. KickStart is a non-profit organization that develops and markets new technologies to help local entrepreneurs establish new small... continue reading »

500,000 People Out of Poverty!

Milestone Reached November 1st, 2010 We here at KickStart International would like to thank you, our donors and friends, for helping us bring 500,000 people out of poverty forever as of November 1st, 2010! This is a huge milestone for... continue reading »

Karibu! - KickStart Newsletter - Fall 2011... continue reading »

PBS' NewsHour Features KickStart

Fighting Poverty in Kenya by Selling Water Pumps to Poor Farmers - Spencer Michels reports on the story of how a California man sees the chance to increase access to clean water in Kenya through the use of foot-pumps.... continue reading »

Africa is Hot. Africa is Cool

And KickStart's Co-Founder Nick Moon tells you why in his new blog.... continue reading »

A Better Way to Make a Living

A great video from DW TV about KickStart's work in Mali continue reading »

Brain-Fed Agricuture

Can Africa feed itself? Absolutely, writes KickStart co-founder Nick Moon writes in the African Executive . But only we can move from rain-fed agriculture to "brain-fed" agriculture.... continue reading »

An SMS “kickstart” for Kenyan Farmers

KickStart's Rita Kiloo explains how we used Frontline SMS software to reach out to Kenyan Farmers. continue reading »

New MoneyMaker Pump Bundled Kits Empower Farmers to Start Irrigation Immediately and Increase Their Income

KickStart Launches Bundled MoneyMaker Pumps that Include Everything Needed for Cash Crop Farming Dar es Salaam, November 1, 2009. KickStart Tanzania is now packaging its award-winning MoneyMaker pumps with everything a smallholder farmer might need to quickly set up the... continue reading »

KickStart at the Clinton Global Initiative

In 2006, KickStart made a commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative to help create 80,000 new businesses that would lift over 400,000 people out of poverty forever. We were invited back to present an update on our commitment during a... continue reading »

High Speed Fiber Optics Come to Africa At Last!

The first fiber optic cable landed near Mombasa, Kenya recently, significantly increasing Africa's connection to the world. BBC journalist Rory Cellan-Jones spoke with KickStart's IT Director Martin Rogena about what this means for KickStart, Kenya, and East Africa. Day Two: Water or the web?. continue reading »

KickStart Launches Real Good Not Feel Good Campaign.

Real Good Not Feel Good is a simple framework donors can use to focus their giving. We hope that Real Good Not Feel Good becomes a movement of donors and social entrepreneurs committed to creating lasting change in the world. continue reading »

Ordinary People. Extraordinary Heroes

Victor Agisa, one of KickStart's salesmen, tells of his ordeal during the worst of violence last year, and of the heroic efforts of one family to save his life. Victors story.pdf... continue reading »

KickStart on Facebook

Join us on Facebook Causes! Use the "Share This" link to post to Facebook, Digg, MySpace and other social networking sites.... continue reading »

KickStart Receives Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation

CLAREMONT, Calif., Sep 24, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The Drucker Institute at Claremont Graduate University has announced this year's winners of the Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation. KickStart International, a San Francisco-based organization that fights poverty in... continue reading »

Martin Fisher Named Engineer of the Year

In September, Martin was honored by Design News magazine, a leading publication for design engineers, with their Engineer of the Year award. Click here to read the article.... continue reading »

Martin Fisher Wins Lemelson-MIT Prize for Sustainability

KickStart Co-Founder Receives $100,000 Lemelson-MIT Award for Sustainability for his work to transform the lives of thousands of poor African farmers through a combination of technological and systematic innovation. continue reading »

Real Good. Not Just Feel Good

To make real progress in tackling the worlds most pressing problems, donors need to be able to distinguish between the "Real Good" and the "Feel Good." continue reading »

KickStart MoneyMaker Pump Brochure

To download a PDF of a brochure on our human-powered irrigation pumps click here.... continue reading »

Country Director John Kihia Recalls Kenyan Childhood

KickStart's Kenya Country Director John Kihia explains to our friends at the Case Foundation what it was like to grow up in a poor isolated village.  John and his siblings have gone on to earn advanced degrees and become successful in a variety... continue reading »