Jessica Laporte and the launch team landed in Port au Prince on June 14, 2014 to begin testing the Kouzin Dlo business model on the ground.
Kouzin Dlo, co-founded by the Archimedes Project and entrepreneur Jessica Laporte, trains and supports women to sell chlorine for household water treatment within their communities. As the first enterprise to go through our venture-building process, it provided us with valuable lessons about each stage of the process could be improved for future ventures.
The launch team landed in Port-au-Prince fully expecting that the business plan would change to make adjustments for incorrect assumptions and unforeseen challenges. Iterating the plan with staff who came from the community being served was key to starting off strong. Once the staff was trained, it was time to introduce Kouzin Dlo to three initial communities in Port-au-Prince and put the business to the test. Kouzin Dlo was launched in collaboration with local staff and community organizations. Each of the community hubs is managed and run by local women who are responsible for managing stock, recording income and expenses and leading marketing and outreach activities. They were trained in community health education, basic business management, and marketing. Even more important than the training, the sessions served as an essential opportunity to evaluate and refine the business model assumptions with community members.
The design-thinking workshop at the center of the training was an essential test for assessing the feasibility of the overall business plan, test our branding and marketing strategy and pricing.
After the workshop, managers were selected from the participants and the real challange began. With the new managers, we planned and executed the first sales agent training. This training was our first opportunity to get the product out into customers hands and begin to access sales tactics and product market fit.