Entrepreneur Spotlight

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Cynthia Koenig @ Wello

Image Source: economist.com

Last month #Entrepreneur Spotlight was on millennial Tiago Dalvi @ Solidarium. This month we are featuring social entrepreneur, Cynthia Koenig, who helps “deliver clean water to a thirsty world”, by designing and delivering “affordable innovations that save time and increase opportunities for people who lack access to water.”

Who is Cynthia Koenig?

A 2011 Fellow of the Unreasonable Institute, and a member of the Erb Institute for Global Sustainability’s External Advisory Board, Cynthia Koenig is the founder and CEO of Wello. She has spent a decade working across four continents, mostly in rural communities, where she attained a keen sense of the trials and tribulations people have to face due to limited infrastructure, and particularly because of a severe shortage of clean water.

“I became intimately familiar with the challenges associated with the lack of access to clean water.” Koenig told the William James Foundation aka Mentor Capital Network. “I’ve spent countless hours collecting and purifying water, and I know what it’s like to not know where your next drop of water will come from – or when.”

Image Source: i.ytimg.com

Wello Overview

Cynthia Koenig’s career has been focused on incubating mission-based businesses which help alleviate poverty in developing countries. Once she had become familiar with the challenges posed by lack of access to clean water, she launched Wello, and did so with a bold vision: to effectively deliver clean water to a thirsty world. Her team at Wello, based in India, has developed a uniquely innovative business model which helps empower communities by encouraging their members to use the Wello WaterWheel as a tool to generate additional income so they can lift their families out of poverty.

The Wello WaterWheel, a 50L container, is a remarkably effective water transportation tool, which helps both transport and store water in a hygienic way. People in rural communities thus save considerable time and effort, while moving significantly greater volumes of water, and can therefore engage in other, more productive activities. Koenig states: “The time spent fulfilling this basic need keeps many children out of school and prevents women from carrying out all the domestic and income generating work for which they are responsible.

Image Source: entrepreneursforachange.com

Why is There Need for Such an Enterprise?

Estimates suggest that 1 out of every 6 people around the world lack proper access to clean water, and that they must work extremely hard to acquire what water they do use, including walking for hours, only to wait in line for hours more, and then do some heavy lifting. A five mile [8km] walk or longer is not uncommon across much of the developing world, particularly during the dry season, and having to carry gallons of water all the way back causes a range of problems, including severe muscle and joint pain, damage to the spine, and even possible complications during childbirth.

The Core Value of Wello

In Cynthia Koenig’s words, “Until piped water is available in every household, Wello’s solution is to innovate a distributed system.” It is an objective at once noble and unique, and the award winning social venture can only grow in the future, for it serves a better need than most around the world. In light of global warming, and the predicted scarcity of fresh water around the world, initiatives such as Wello have become all the more necessary if we are to have a sustainable future.

Features which Dictate its Success

The primary factors which make Wello such a successful enterprise are the commitment and dedication of Cynthia Koenig and her team members, and their uniquely innovative product – the Wello WaterWheel. Here is why it has been such a huge hit in the rural communities:

  • It is designed so it can be used by anybody, and everybody.
  • It is highly affordable, in large part due to excellent business model employed at Wello.
  • It is extremely hygienic, with a unique cap-in-cap design which helps keep the water clean.
  • It is incredibly convenient, allowing people to bring back twice as much water in only half the time.
  • It is exceptionally easy to handle, with handholds which make filling and emptying much easier.
  • It is exceedingly durable, with a balanced shape and size, enhancing its performance across rough terrain.

Cynthia Koenig’s Contribution to the Cause

An extensively experienced entrepreneur, Cynthia Koenig has lived in four different continents, and worked across South and Southeast Asia, Southern Africa, and Central America. The one trait which has helped her throughout, above and beyond all others, is her unquenchable optimism. Her success stems from the fact that she can always see the silver lining, no matter how dark the clouds, and to her, the glass is always, inexorably full. She has other remarkable entrepreneurial qualities too, including an intense passion to help make the world a better place, and a keen commitment to see it through, in addition to a brilliant mind which can visualize innovative solutions, and uniquely creative ways to deliver those solutions in a practical and viable fashion.

Bottom Line

Cynthia Koenig of Wello earned MBA/MS degrees from the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and School of Natural Resources & Environment and holds a BA in Anthropology from Trinity College, and she has been putting them to remarkable use. The WaterWheel helps across so many areas, including the eradication of poverty and hunger, the improvement of maternal health, and the reduction of child mortality, in addition to helping combat malaria, HIV/AIDS, and several other diseases. Get the word out! #CleanWater @swellowater

Share This:
Embed this Video on your site using the html below:

I am a digital marketing consultant with a focus on small and mid-sized enterprises. I believe the focus of every business should be on creating a consistent brand identity online and offline.

Leave a Reply