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Our approach


We invest in young talents and unlock their potential to create and scale WASH startups by providing them the necessary tools and financial means to become successful and impactful entrepreneurs.

Since 2017, our Young Water Fellowship programmes support youth in low-and middle income countries with 4 enabling components: WASH business trainings; funding; coaching and connections to the enabling ecosystem, in each step of their entrepreneurial journey: ideation, incubation, pre-acceleration and acceleration.

We foster purpose-driven start-ups in their different stages of development.


Identification and engagement of young talents in water & sanitation entrepreneurship

11 programmes implemented (Hackathons)

+500 young people engaged

+150 WASH business ideas generated

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Long term support to transition ideas into business models.

14 programmes implemented

127+ businesses incubated

59% still in operation

77% are now post revenue, post profit
or at growth stage

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Support operating start-ups to consolidate their management, marketing and impact measurement

3 programme implemented

11 businesses pre-accelerated

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Enable post-revenue WASH start-ups to get investment ready and scale up.

3 programme implemented

15 start-ups accelerated

3M € raised in investment

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young entrepreneurs supported

1.2 M

people benefited

350 K

seedfunding distributed (Euro)

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