007, Isabel Medem, X-Runner Venture | Toilets as a Social Enterprise

007, Isabel Medem, X-Runner Venture | Toilets as a Social Enterprise

Isabel Medem, X-Runner

Isabel Medem, X-Runner

In this interview leading to World Toilet Day on November 19, Isabel Medem talks about her work in hygienic sanitation in Lima, Peru. X-Runner Venture is a social enterprise that brings toilets to the residents of informal housing.

Lima is the second driest capitals on earth. In the informal housing, many people resort to pit latrines which spread disease. Because the pit latrines are dug near the houses, they can cause the ground on which the houses are built to become unstable. Some people try to delay using the pit latrines, which can cause further health problems.

After university, Isabel worked in microfinance in Africa. Later, when living in Berlin, she met her cofounder, Jessica Altenburger, who was working on hygienic sanitation. Eventually they moved to Lima where, today, their toilets are in about 400 households.

In this episode of Social Entrepreneurs, Isabel compares the running of a social venture to the care and feeding of a child.

In this episode of the Social Entrepreneur podcast, we discuss:

  • The dangers of pit latrines.
  • How Isabel met Jessie, her co-founder.
  • How, together they designed a solution.
  • How they introduced the solution to the residents of the urban slum near Lima.
  • The holistic system that X-Runner Venture has created.
  • The challenges of running a social enterprise.
  • The importance of scaling the enterprise.
  • The metrics they use to measure their success.
  • Their creative use of mobile technology.
  • The rewards of social entrepreneurship.
  • Advice for new Social Entrepreneurs.


About the Author
Tony Loyd is a TEDx speaker, podcast host and the author of Crazy Good Advice: 10 Lessons Learned from 150 Leading Social Entrepreneurs. He is a former Fortune 500 executive with extensive experience in strategic planning, talent management, and leadership development. Tony is the host of the podcast Social Entrepreneur where you can hear the stories of changemakers who are making an impact on the world.

3 comments on “007, Isabel Medem, X-Runner Venture | Toilets as a Social Enterprise

  1. Diana says:

    Inspired by the awesome work the X-Runners are doing. Good Luck with the future.
    Thanks Tony for bringing it to light.

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