Martin Fisher is the co-founder and CEO of KickStart International. Born in London, Martin grew up in the US and earned his PhD in engineering at Stanford University. He went to Kenya on a Fulbright Fellowship, and he stayed for 17 years.
He joined ActionAid, established a large rural water programme, and later led the installation of ~100,000 pit latrines in Kenyan refugee camps.
In 1991, Martin co-founded KickStart a non-profit social enterprise with a mission to enable millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa to earn a lot more money and climb out of poverty. Martin has designed multiple ‘money-making’ tools that have been used to establish tens of thousands of profitable small-scale enterprises. KickStart’s unique irrigation pumps have been used by almost 400,000 smallholder farmers to transition from rain-fed to irrigated farming, enabling over 1.5 million women, men and children to climb out of poverty and adapt to climate change.
KickStart partners with hundreds of development agencies to educate farmers about irrigation, and advocates for system changes to promote irrigation.
Amongst many accolades, Martin has been named a Skoll and Schwab Social Entrepreneur, a Time Magazine European Hero and a Stanford Engineering Hero. He speaks at multiple venues and in his spare time is an avid hiker, biker and explorer.