Clean Water for Bolivians in the BoP

BILD Soluciones de impacto social

3. Good Health and Well-Being 6. Clean Water and Sanitation

Overview

BILD is a B Corp focusing on developing impactful solutions for Bolivia’s Base of the Pyramid (BoP), where traditional businesses, NGO’s, government bodies, and other international institutions have been unable to make potable water available to underprivileged citizens. In its initial venture, BILD partnered with the Bolivian government to provide LifeSaver™ nano-technology water filters in water-impoverished communities throughout the country. Within two years, BILD made available 6 million+ liters of potable water to over 60% of Bolivians who live without access to alternative clean water systems.

Authors

Magaly Garduño

Magaly Garduño

Christian Paredes

Christian Paredes

Arcadio Vidal Montoya

Arcadio Vidal Montoya

Erick Brauer

Erick Brauer

School

EGADE Business School Tecnologico de Monterrey

EGADE Business School Tecnologico de Monterrey

Professor

Alejandro Rios

Alejandro Rios

Innovation

When Daniel Andrade initially founded BILD, he did not envision entering a specific line of business. Instead, he viewed his nascent firm as a catalyst to develop solutions where market asymmetries prevent underprivileged segments of the population from accessing essential public goods and services. Leveraging this vision, BILD identified a significant problem facing a majority of suburban and rural Bolivians -- a lack of uniformity in potable water distribution. Andrade recognized that solving this problem required the development of an accessory that could filter water and be lightweight and resilient to facilitate easy transport from the water source. BILD ultimately discovered that the LifeSaver mechanical pump filter met all functional requirements at a reasonable price for base-of-the-pyramid customers (those living on less than $2 per day).

LifeSaver uses a nano-scale mechanical filter capable of removing particulates, bacteria, and viruses as small as 0.015 microns -- over 100x more effective than competitive mechanical and ultra-violet (UV) light filtration products. Each LifeSaver jerrycan holds 19 liters of water and is reusable for filtering over 20,000 liters before disposal - sufficient to maintain a family of 4 for over a year.

BILD’s ongoing objective is to serve as a social disruptor to match projects (problems) with technologies (solutions) to address some of the most complicated issues faced by society.

Clean Water for Bolivians in the BoP

Inspiration

Daniel Andrade painfully remembers Bolivia's Water War of 1999-2000, when widespread privatization of municipal water supplies led to a series of violent protests after prices surged for suburban and rural residents. The public uprising was a seminal event and made a profound impression, leading Andrade to the United States to seek a bachelor's degree in international affairs and a master's degree in public administration. Returning to Bolivia, he deepened his interest in social entrepreneurship, founding the country's first impact investment firm, Fondo Progreso, which provided the seed funding to catalyze his next venture -- BILD.

Overall impact

According to the United Nations, 80% of diseases in developing countries are transmitted via contaminated water, and a combination of high cost and technological difficulty result in low rates (< 30%) of Bolivian wastewater treatment. As of 2018, BILD supplied a sufficient volume of LifeSaver water filtration systems to filter up to 6 million liters of water daily -- roughly equivalent to providing 1-liter of filtered water per day to two-thirds of the Bolivian population suffering from daily water poverty. There is also a tremendous second-order social impact from reducing diseases associated with water contamination and untreated wastewater, and contributing to time efficiencies gained by eliminating boiling as a required daily activity.

Business benefit

Facilitated in part by a partnership with the Bolivian government, BILD achieved sales of Bs$2.1 millions in 2018 (approximately 304,000 USD). The public-private collaboration provides BILD with a foundation on which to explore new socially-minded and market-driven solutions that lead to reciprocal and blended returns for both BILD and key stakeholders.

Social and environmental benefit

BILD believes that the poor are not victims, but rather resilient entrepreneurs and value-conscious consumers. As such, BILD seeks to build disruptive value chains that improve the lives of impoverished communities and catalyze their collective potential. Bolivia is among the poorest countries in the Western hemisphere, and over 60% of residents live on less than $4 USD per day (a.k.a. "base of the pyramid). By addressing the systemic issue of water poverty in suburban and rural Bolivia, community stakeholders have the potential to help solve complex problems of poverty and economic development.

Through its partnership with the Bolivian government to help build the capacity of LifeSaver water filtration systems, BILD helps to promote good health practices and to reduce the prevalence of water-borne illnesses.

Interview

Daniel Andrade, Executive Director

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BILD Soluciones de impacto social

BILD Soluciones de impacto social

Cochabamba, Cercado, BO

Business Website: https://www.facebook.com/BildSoluciones/

Year Founded: 2014

Number of Employees: 2 to 10

BILD takes direct aim at the war against poverty, serving as a change agent and catalyst to help the impoverished sustain access to products and technologies that can change their lives. BILD serves low-income communities that typically face a poverty penalty - those markets generally deemed "high risk" by traditional suppliers. The initial endeavor focuses on providing LifeSaver filtration systems to suburban and rural Bolivians suffering daily from water poverty. As of 2018, BILD has successfully helped Bolivians build a capacity to filter over 6 million liters of water each day.