New ways must be examined

- this was one of the conclusions made at a conference held in Copenhagen with participation from Muhammad Yunus, the winner of this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

Also participating in the conference, held at Copenhagen Business School, was Grundfos as the only business company in the expert panel answering questions from more than 350 participants.

Grundfos LifeLink, represented by Gen. Manager, Peter Todbjerg, together with Yunus and others explained how business and social responsibility may go hand in hand in the fight against poverty.

Facts about Grundfos LifeLink:
Grundfos LinfeLink's strategy is to deliver clean domestic water to the world's poorest people while at the same time earning money for the company.

Each village takes up loans for water systems in a Kenyan bank specialised in micro loans. Every time a user gets water, the loan is being paid off by means of a smartcard which is filled up by means of a cell phone. The loans are estimated to be repaid in the course of five years.

The business model breaks the row of bad experiences from development projects in the third world. The latter are caracterised by the fact that the village people are unable to maintain the equipment supplied from Denmark and other Western countries.

Grundfos LifeLink offers technical equipment as well as financing, a closed payment system and a service packet including constant monitoring of the water system by a national monitoring centre in Nairobi. If the system breaks down a technician rushes to the location with spare parts, a tool box and specialist knowledge.

This system is an example of how underdeveloped areas may skip a stage in the development. The villages don't have access to electricity and, instead of waiting for expensive investments in powerstations, the water system is driven by electricity from solar cells.