RARE  RISINGSTARS 2010 The UK’s Top 10 Black Students
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No. 4


Edwin Broni-Mensah

University of Manchester
PhD Applied Mathematics
Social enterprise
Edwin Broni-Mensah
Edwin Broni-Mensah is redefining the way we consume water.

A former Manchester Entrepreneurs Club member, Edwin got the idea for his award-winning social enterprise venture, Give Me Tap, after growing increasingly frustrated at being unable to get access to free drinking water while he exercised around Manchester.
RRS 2011: Replayed - An inability to get free drinking water from cafes whilst exercising inspired Manchester student, Edwin Broni-Mensah – our 4th placed Star – to set up a novel social enterprise, GiveMeTap.

"I just don't understand the cultural awkwardness we seem to have in this country with getting free tap water in cafes and restaurants without having to buy something."

Troubled by the fact that there are almost one billion people around the world who do not have access to clean water, Edwin decided to confront local attitudes to water as a way of exploring the global problem.

Give Me Tap was born in 2009 with £2,900 of funding from UnLtd. Drinkers with a Give Me Tap-branded bottle are able to request tap water from participating venues without having to make a purchase. Edwin has also developed www.givemetap.co.uk and an iPhone application to allow you to find out which businesses are taking part and where.

In 2010, Edwin was awarded the £1,000 Shell Livewire award and his work was later featured in The Independent newspaper. Edwin also won the £15,000 UnLtd Arthur Guinness Award for his efforts and online entrepreneurial magazine Trendwatching ranked Give Me Tap at 67th in the Top Innovative Companies of the Moment list.

Today Give Me Tap operates in five cities including London, Manchester and York, and Edwin has his sights set on providing the millions of people who will converge on London for the 2012 Olympic Games with access to free water.

70% of the profits made from Give Me Tap-branded products, which now include a range of different bottles and T-shirts, are used to fund independent water projects in Africa. Edwin hopes to explore charitable opportunities elsewhere around the globe.

"I think that we should be treating people as human beings before they are consumers."