Kimani Solar Dehydrator
This business created a solar dehydrator to take advantage of the bountiful, but short-lived mango season. Community members thrived nutritionally and economically during mango season as they did not have to spend extra on sweeteners, or on other fruit to address vitamin deficiencies. They created a solar dehydrator that only used the heat of the sun to dry slices of mangoes to preserve and later sell. The machine is past prototype phase by now, and they are focusing on logistics/sales.
- 50-60% of mangoes rot every year.
- Mangoes make up 10% of meals in the region during their high season. (This number is higher among children)
- Mangoes can provide the full amount of Vitamin A & C that individuals in the area need, there are deficincies of this in other locally available produce.
Innovation Dilemmas: This design team is facing a problem in adjusting their financial model, figuring out a management structure and a growth strategy. They believe they have produced a viable product, or at least replicable. They're looking to grow the enterprise beyond their community, perhaps by a franchise model. Timing is also key to this business, the mango season is short, and consumers don't think about buying the product in advance, so they need a strategy for the time period in which it's viable.
The company is also considering how to raise greater capital to improve on the enterprise. In particular, management is a problem because the enterprise is essentially seasonal and it's difficult to ask the members of the design team to work on a startup that isn't feasible year-long yet, while they have to work everyday to feed themselves and their family.