Venture Profile

Country Ethiopia
Markets Ethiopia
Sectors consumer goods Health services Water & Sanitation & Hygine (WASH)
Founded March 2017


  • Andrew Smith
  • Entrepreneur
    Andrew Smith
About Me

My background was 10 years in process control and automation in the manufacturing and water industry in UK.

Following a career “adjustment” and an MSc. in Water Engineering I’ve been working in Ethiopia in the WASH sector for 10 years. My main consultancy areas are Biosand, Household Water Treatment, Innovation, Human Centric Design.

I’m the co-founder of Desert Rose Consultancy which I’ve been running and serving in since 2008 in Ethiopia.

Working in Ethiopia has enabled me to understand business in Ethiopia, the market, competitors products and their weaknesses as well as build up a network in government, NGO and private sector which is valuable

Core skills are innovating in constrained / resource-poor environments. Raised in East Africa, I speak Somali, Swahili and reasonable Amharic.

  • Desert Rose Consultancy Plc (Round 1)

    affordable - scaleable - water treatment for ethiopian BOP market

Almost one thousand children under 5 die daily, worldwide, from diarrhea with a key factor being lack of access to safe water [WHO: press release 2017]

Recent WHO/UNICEF surveys show that only 13% of Ethiopians have access to improved sources of bacteria-free water. [WHO/UNICEF: JMP 2016]

The impact is a loss of time, economic potential, dignity and often life. An impact that is borne disproportionately by the poor, by women and children, and by rural communities [UNICEF: WASH the case for support]

Desert Rose, a social enterprise delivering community development and engineering consultancy in rural Ethiopia since 2008, has invented a novel and practical water filtering solution that promises to meet this vital need.

The device is innovative, technically excellent, manufactured in-country, affordable to villagers and has independent proven performance in both laboratory and real-world rural settings. Production is scalable to meet the HSTP Ethiopian Government target of 35 million Ethiopians filtering their own water by 2020.

Desert Rose has a signed MoU with the Ethiopian Ministry of Science and has the expertise, networks and relationships in Ethiopia to take this solution to market, achieve sustainable large-scale production and re-investment capital.

Partner with Desert Rose to achieve medium-scale production by the end of 2017 and deliver dramatic transformation in the lives of rural Ethiopians.


This venture has not initiated a round of financing on this platform. If they choose to, the summary of the fundraising round will appear to registered investors here.


We have an elevator pitch. We are already working in BoPmarkets and want to improve our current offering.

Leveraging a novel design of water filter which offers lowest-cost solution for customers who live near water points that are unsafe. Synchronizing with Ethiopia’s Federal and regional strategy of Self-Supply, we’ll build our market network on existing structures incorporating both NGO and governmental actors down to local Health Extension Workers.


Our founder has the business savvy and persistence to turn ideas into a company. We have a business network and can get introduced to the right people. We can build the product. Given the time and money, we can deliver on our promises.

Andrew Smith: water engineer, tech inventor, Ethiopian company co-owner. Lars Osterwalder: a HWTS Consultant specializing in carbon credits & fluoride removal. Jasper du Plessis: property developer with experience of starting businesses in Africa. All residents in Ethiopia.


We have a demo or prototype and are ready for the next step. We have developed the product ourselves and own all of the IPfor the product.

Prototypes in the field being operated by real users alongside independent testing sponsored by CAWST. Prototype tested by Ethiopian Conformity Assessment Enterprise. Signed MoU with Ministry of Science. Bench scale production capability. Currently building partnerships for scale


We plan to start by building a community of passionate customers. We have identified one or more revenue streams. We plan to monetise our offering in the next phase.

1) End user pays the target price of 20 USD, potentially taking advantage of loans facilities for Self Supply available in Ethiopia. User gains saved time (walking to gain safer water), saved expense (on medicines & water treatments), prestige, and is enabled to use accessible water (e.g. a well on their land) 2) End user pays approx 6 USD / 2-years to replace filter cartridge 3) Scale (2000+ units / month) means registering Carbon Credits becomes attractive. One filter saves 1 CO2 ton/year.


Unlike competitors products, our product will be priced aggressively low (enabled by our technology type). It is women and children who are negatively impacted by the burden of spending time & energy gaining sufficient safe water. Our product frees both women and children from this excluding activity by enabling them to utilize closer sources.

We involve low-income groups as consumers. We involve low-income groups as distributors.

Ethiopia’s own target is 35 million people treating water in their own homes by 2020. With no affordable products available at scale our impact on this market is reduced child and neo-natal deaths, less time spent on collecting water from distant sources, less expense on medicines for simple illnesses. The technology is applicable to other low-industry countries in Africa as well as huge water filter markets like South-East Asia where filters replace boiling.

Documents are only visible to registered investors when the venture is fundraising.