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Young Water Solutions newest member of the SWEP

Thanks to the support of the Waterloo Foundation, Young Water Solutions has joined the Sanitation and Water Entrepreneurship Pact (SWEP) with the aim of supporting water and sanitation entrepreneurs more effectively, building an ecosystem around WaSH entrepreneurship and channelling funds where they are most needed.

What is the SWEP and why was it created?

In the past decade, the universe of players involved in delivering WaSH services has become larger and more diverse, with public, private and third sector entities getting increasingly involved. Many different organisations and programmes which support water and sanitation entrepreneurship have also emerged. The challenge – and the financing gap – remains huge, though, both locally and globally.

This begs the question: How can the sector consolidate and collaborate more effectively? And how can we stop duplicating efforts and find synergies instead? Are there better ways to create more trust among investors and channel funds where they are most needed?

These questions were at the core of a creative discussion among the founding organisations of the Sanitation and Water Entrepreneurship Pact (SWEP) over a lunch in February 2017. Indeed, like many good ideas, the SWEP was first sketched out on a paper tablecloth in some restaurant. Three years later, the pact has grown to include 6 organisations: Antenna Foundation, Aqua for All, cewas, Toilets for All, Waste and ourselves. The vision has remained the same: create a global value chain capable of supporting entrepreneurs at all stages of their development. The SWEP’s objective is to synergise actors, enhance knowledge sharing and change the risk perception of investors, thereby helping to fill financial and technical gaps. Ultimately, what the SWEP wants is for innovative solutions and business models of water and sanitation entrepreneurs to become economically, socially and environmentally sustainable and to be disseminated and/or scaled successfully.

At Young Water Solutions, we are convinced of the importance of ecosystem building. By joining hands, we can have a stronger voice to influence agendas, expand our horizons beyond our respective silos and stop duplicating efforts. Together we will also be able to create trust and provide investors with an access to a less-risky pipeline of entrepreneurs.

We are proud to have become a member of the SWEP!