Eco-friendly water ‘on the go’ start-up gets business flowing

April 28, 2010

Louise Bateman

28th April 2010
A Manchester-based start-up has found a way to help restaurants and cafés boost their client base at the same time as helping people on the go have access to fresh water for free in an environmentally friendly way.

GiveMeTap is the brainchild of young entrepreneur and Manchester University student Edwin Broni-Mensah, who wanted to do something to address the growing global water crisis. His company invites Manchester-based eateries to sign up and supply free access to clean tap water to those who carry a GiveMeTap aluminium bottle. 

While keeping the Manchester public hydrated for free, the aim of the scheme is to reduce the number of discarded plastic water bottles that end up in UK landfill, at the same time as raising money for water-related projects in countries under water stress. GiveMeTap gives 70 per cent of its profits to funding independent water projects in regions where it is needed most.

"I’m from Ghana, where water issues are so critical that people are redirecting supplies to their own homes from other people’s," Broni-Mensah explained. 

GiveMeTap awarded £1000 by Shell
GiveMeTap has just been awarded £1000 by the Shell LiveWire Grand Ideas Awards to further develop the business, but the social enterprise outfit is also winning favour with eateries in Manchester.

"I’ve just recruited five new outlets today to join the scheme," said Broni-Mensah, who gets businesses on board by driving new potential customers to their restaurants. "It’s the lost leader marketing principle," he explained.

Broni-Mensah started out by canvassing restaurants and cafés in his local area of Manchester, but now he is planning to spread the scheme around the rest of Manchester and wants to develop it across the UK and eventually abroad.

"I’m hoping to be in London within the next three months," he said.

The Shell LiveWire cash prize is being used to create an IPhone application that will provide GiveMeTap customers with instant information on GiveMeTap outlets.

People can buy the GiveMeTap aluminium bottle for £7 via the GiveMeTap website.