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Jibu Business Model

“Navigating waters” towards social impact

jibu social business model canvas
Jibu Social Business Model Canvas.
Adapted from © Tandemic

If you missed the first part of Jibu case study, click here 👈

Social Impact

As previously discussed, Jibu aims to make safe, potable water accessible to vulnerable communities. Thanks to its purification plants located in different African countries such as Uganda, Rwanda, and Kenya, the company tackles indeed water scarcity in an innovative manner.

Additionally, the franchise model helps Jibu fulfill another major goal: promoting entrepreneurship and economic empowerment. By decentralizing its production and distribution model, the organization empowers local entrepreneurs to become agents of change within their own communities

Customers & Beneficiaries + Value Propositions

Through its business model, Jibu targets both B2C and B2B customers.

To begin with, vulnerable, underserved communities lacking access to clean water represent the main target of beneficiaries for Jibu. Since the end market is everyone who cannot afford safe, drinking water, the company applies low prices to its end product. Private customers (i.e. families, individuals) pay a one-time bottle deposit and then exchange empty bottles for full bottles, paying only for the water. Solutions to combat water shortage are available for B2B targets too, such as schools and small businesses.

On the other side of the spectrum, local franchisees benefit from the entrepreneurial opportunities provided by Jibu. In exchange for a licensing fee, the organization provides them with training, support, and the potential for income generation and financial stability. According to Jibu’s website, single franchise owners usually invest $3K to $6K as start-up capital and recover their initial investments within roughly 18 months from launch. Furthermore, 50% of Jibu’s franchise owners are women.

Key Activities

Let’s now consider the core activities the company has to undertake.

At the forefront of Jibu’s most strategic activities is the establishment and support of franchise operations. From site selection and setup to ongoing training and mentoring for franchisees, the list of activities is extensive. By closely working with local entrepreneurs, Jibu identifies suitable locations for water purification plants: if the selected positions ensure both operational efficiency and proximity to underserved communities, the projects can move forward. From there, as mentioned, Jibu provides then extensive training to franchisees on several subjects such as water purification, business management, customer service, and more.

Another key activity for the company consists in research and development, needed to ensure continuous innovation and to improve the efficiency and accuracy of its water purification technology. Thanks to that, Jibu filtration systems consistently stay at the forefront of technological advancements.

And finally, community outreach and partnership building are integral to Jibu’s approach, especially to promote educational events, health awareness campaigns, and initiatives focused on sustainable water management practices.

Key Resources + Key Partnerships & Stakeholders

Jibu’s first, main asset is definitely represented by water purification technology and equipment. Developed together with Healing Waters, Jibu’s water treatment systems are based on “ultra-filtration” and “hybrid reverse osmosis” technology and are designed to remove contaminants and pathogens from local water sources. By meeting stringent quality standards, Jibu’s state-of-the-art purification technology enables the company to provide safe and clean drinking water to communities in need.

Other key resources for the organization include brand authority and financial capitals. While the first one is necessary to maintain Jibu’s brand as top-of-mind in potable water solutions, the second ones allow the company to provide financing and support to franchisees, enabling them to overcome barriers to entry and succeed in their entrepreneurial endeavors.

In this regard, partnerships ensure strategic, external resources and expertise needed for Jibu’s impact-driven journey. Apart from the already mentioned Healing Waters, another key partnership is thus the one with Bboxx. Bboxx provides indeed IoT devices that enable Jibu to monitor remotely, in real-time, the production of clean water in each of their franchises. Other than that, strategic partnerships with NGOs include those with Safe Water Network, SPRING, Women in Technology, Akazi Kanoze and local sport organizations.

Channels + Cost structure

When it comes to channels, Jibu leverages a variety of channels to reach its target market. Based on the previous sections, we can claim that the company builds partnerships with NGOs and local organizations, as well as online platforms for customer engagement and awareness. But the channel truly delivering Jibu’s ultimate value proposition are the local shops owned and managed by franchisees.

Local franchisees cover the operating costs of running a locally-based business, with franchisees often ending up hiring 3-9 employees, including a store manager who oversees daily operations. Because of that, by looking at a broader level, Jibu’s cost structure is therefore mostly impacted by equipment and infrastructure costs, training and assistance to franchisees, and marketing and promotional expenditures.

Revenue Streams

Finally, Jibu ensures economic stability through a flat, per-liter fee paid over time by franchisees to Jibu. Paying just a fraction of a cent, local business owners can usually earn a net profit of 10% to 20%.

What’s particularly notable here is that where most companies charge franchisees high, upfront fees at the beginning of their entrepreneurial journey, Jibu covers the expenses beforehand. In fact, the company pays roughly 95% of the set-up costs and build local stores in full. Turnkey storefront, retail space, production room,-friendly filtration system, they provide it all. Franchisees are asked to pay an upfront, licensing fee of around $3K. However, in case of financial constraints, Jibu offers its franchise owners the opportunity to access zero interest loans for starting the business.

Conclusion

As seen, Jibu combines financing, job creation and water filtration through a technology-enabled, franchise system.

Jibu franchises are indeed high-visibility retail points with both on-site production and manufacturing. With approximately 160 franchises launched and more than 10000 retail points across 8 countries, the company is on its mission to provide affordable, safe drinking water to vulnerable communities, as well as to foster entrepreneurship and economic empowerment for aspiring business owners. Although this article primarily focuses on water, Jibu’s anchor product, today the franchise network also provides other essential services such cooking fuel (LPG) and fortified porridge, a staple food in East Africa. 

In conclusion, Jibu social business model is founded on the franchising model. By innovatively embedding this framework into social entrepreneurial practices, Jibu has been able to transfor the lives of millions across Africa, creating economic opportunities, promoting environmental sustainability, and fostering social inclusion.


About the Author

Marco Cornetto

Hi, there!

I’m Marco, an Italian business practitioner with previous study and work experiences across Australia, Netherlands, Spain and Vietnam. Having a background in economics and business management, since 2018 I’m happy to support social entrepreneurs and impact startuppers refine their businesses and scale social impact.

At Social Business Design, I mostly write about business design, financial modeling and growth hacking, sharing useful tools and insights gathered during 5+ years of on-field experiences.

Apart from talking about social business, I love hiking, reading, eating Asian food and taking pictures while I’m traveling. If interested, feel free to get in touch with me through my channels! 🙂


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