From: , Next Billion, More from this Affiliate
Published March 24, 2008 09:24 AM

Great Innovation: The Brazilian Waterless Car Wash

If you have ever gotten service at a car wash in Brazil, you know that many of them make up the phenomenon Hernando DeSoto calls dead capital. They operate outside of the formal economy, paying low wages off the books, skipping out on taxes and side-stepping regulations. This is the environment the owners of DryWash stepped into when their business first opened in 1994.

I had the chance to talk to a partner of their International division recently and our discussion reminded me that the day in and day out work of the entrepreneurs and small businesspeople in developing countries is sometimes the most overlooked sustainable development initiative. Sometimes the most important efforts are the ones that get massive global attention and high level funding, such as the $100 ($140?) laptop. More often than we realize however, it's the inspired individuals living in emerging economies who find the best ways to help their region prosper. Enter DryWash.

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This company began using a native Brazilian wax to clean cars spotless without the use of water. The benefits? They create "live" capital by insisting on operating under the law, ther system has saved

millions of gallons of water, and their impressive sales have encouraged them to expand overseas and into other services. For you billionaire execs out there, DryWash even has a separate branch that will clean and polish your private jet. Take a look at the full article on DryWash here and listen to parts of our interview.   It's amazing to hear about the success of this simple technology and how far it will spread in the next few years.  Not to mention, hearing Tiago's description of the company's strategy, you really get the sense that you're listening to a real voice for grassroots development.

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