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Young Ones to Watch: Galen Welsch
As the Co-Founder and CEO of Jibu, Galen Welsch is using social franchising to bring safe drinking water to Africa

Galen Welsch knew he had to make a difference following his work in the Peace Corp in Morocco. He had been exploring business solutions to poverty that could enhance aid-based approaches to water and other emerging market challenges when he decided to join his father, who has 20+ years of leadership development work in Africa, to start Jibu. Together, the business partners are using locally owned social franchises in Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya to make safe drinking water radically affordable to over 150,000 people. Galen Welsch has been awarded social entrepreneurship fellowships and recognition from the Global Development Lab at the United Nations General Assembly, Unreasonable Institute, Global Social Benefit Institute, Sankalp Forum, and was named a NextGen in Franchising winner by the International Franchise Association.

Why do you love franchising?

​Nothing is more scalable than franchising and Jibu is trying to solve a global issue of access to safe drinking water. Franchising is the perfect solution for emerging markets - it combines the know-how to succeed while fulfilling entrepreneur's dreams of business ownership. ​

What is the top challenge facing young people in franchising?

​The top challenge for young people is attracting and keeping talent that is more experienced than themselves. Finding older advisers and mentors is often much easier than finding more experienced people to join the team. I think it is critical to have more experienced people on the team, full time, in addition to having experienced​ board members and advisers. Solving the talent challenge solves other common challenges such as a lack of access to capital (everyone is more likely to trust a young person with grey-haired folks behind him/her!), ability to prioritize and make high-stakes pivots during the start-up phase, and the ability to see the big picture.

What is your dream position/goal?

I want to spend my life finding and building creative, entrepreneurial solutions to the world's biggest challenges. This means not just coming up with good ideas, but sharing the ideas in a way that others can take ownership of them and drive the change.

To connect with Galen Welsch on LinkedIn, click here.

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