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Young Water Fellowship


The Young Water Fellowship (YWF) is our flagship programme. It aims to empower early-stage young entrepreneurs from low and middle income countries to set up social businesses that tackle water, sanitation & hygiene, water pollution and water scarcity issues, by offering them a fully-funded intensive training in business & WASH, seed funding grants for their pilot projects, and mentorship support from senior level experts during one year.

We provide the enabling conditions for young entrepreneurs to create water and sanitation social businesses.

Call for applications

Young Water Fellows are selected through an open call for applications according to criteria that include innovation, impact, feasibility, business potential, leadership potential of the candidate


Selected Fellows attend a two-weeks start-up training delivered in partnership with local and international incubators. After completion, Fellows have a viable business model to tackle a water or sanitation issue, ready to pilot.

Seed funding for pilot implementation

Fellows can apply for a seed funding grant of up to €5000 to pilot their business models over 6 months following the training. So far, 97% of selected Fellows have received funding. The average amount awarded is €4400.

Coaching and mentor matching

During the pilot implementation, YWS offers regular coaching calls to Fellows, and matches them with senior experts according to their needs. They also join the YWF Alumni community, where they can meet and interact with Fellows from other cohorts.

Calls for applications

To know about the next YWF editions and their call for applications, visit the Apply section.

Note: From 2020 onwards and until further notice, YWF Global editions have been transformed into an acceleration programme for YWF Alumni. There will be no open applications for this edition.


Since 2017, Young Water Solutions has implemented three global editionsof the Young Water Fellowship and one regional edition in East Africa, all of which provided training, mentorship and seed funding to 10 young entrepreneurs. As a result of their YWF pilot initiatives, Fellows ’businesses have benefited over 30,000 people worldwide. To learn more about the outcomes of each edition, please download the reports using the links below.

Other than solving water, sanitation and other water management issues (SDG 6 & 14), our Fellows’ social businesses are gender-sensitive (SDG 5) and increase employment opportunities for local youth (SDG 8),
reducing poverty (SDG 1).

What our Fellows are saying

This project changed my life, changed my vision and broke down all cultural barriers. I am very confident of myself right now, I know that even if I am a girl, even if I am indigenous, I can do anything... Because I have the potential, I have the strength to get where I want to get.

Julajuj Co


The training, exposure and support that comes with being a fellow is exactly the headstartI needed to get me going. The impact goes beyond me; my community will feel and see the difference in water quality and access.

Mary Gathoni


The Fellowship was a mind-opening and elating experience. It helped bring my ambiguous innovation into a tangible and practical idea, the opportunities through the different networking sessions were incredible, the friends we made and fun are amazing experiences that I hope everyone in the WASH sector gets to experience.

Patricia Rodha


With the helpof Young Water Solutions and cewas we were able to kick start our Social Business. It was an amazing experience... to be part of global family composed of young water professionals together with one goal: addressing global water scarcity.

Fidel Ramos


It has been a great experience for me, I really enjoyed and learnt lots from it. It has built my confidence, broadened my entrepreneurship skills and for sure it is the best place to be.

Anna Kadari


It should be fair to admit that this project has really been critical in enhancing my capacity and to my working team on what it takes to carry out flourishing sanitation project and widening my networks locally, regionally and internationally. This should therefore be a clear justification for my heartfelt appreciation to YWS for the financial support to implement this project.

Jonathan Nkungu


I really learnt a lot from being a Young Water Fellow. I had never been exposed with this kind of insight before. I faced many challenges and obstacles but all mentors have helped me through their suggestions. From here I can enrich my skills on water business and also how to make a great impact in community.

Nuha Anfaresi


Thanks to YWS and cewas what was just an idea, will now be a reality. This opportunity not only helped me with my social business but it was also a great life experience.

Ericka Calderón Vargas

Costa Rica

I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to be part of the Young Water Fellowship 2019 because with the training, mentorship and seed funding received, I now feel empowered to make a positive impact in the lives of urban slum residents in Kenya.”

Joyce Klu


Being part of the Young Water Fellowship was a great letter of introduction to manage additional resources and allowed me to share my experience in different spaces both nationally and in meetings with local governments, with directors of NGOs , with other water and sanitation technicians and international ones such as the World Water Forum.

Vilma Chanta

El Salvador