Completion on-going! Many factsheets, key resources etc. have been added recently. Check back regularly and send us your feedback.
Latest update: 21.12.2012
The increased global awareness and growing concern about water, its deteriorating quality and scarcity, as well as the consequences of poor sanitation in human health and the environment, are nowadays offering unlimited possibilities for initiating businesses in the water and sanitation sector. If you are now reading these lines, you probably know that already: the worldwide water and sanitation market is booming! Now is your opportunity to complete your dream of owning and operating a successful business in Water and Sanitation.
You might have already your business idea, or you might be simply so fascinated by SSWM that you are still searching for business ideas, but you have the conviction that you will start up your business in it. Optimism and enthusiasm are in fact key characteristics of entrepreneurs, who also tend to work through trial and error without a cohesive plan of action. In today’s global competitive environment, however, any business, independently of the size or the sector, needs to develop a workable business strategy to avoid being vulnerable and to increase the chances of success.
This STEP Business Development in SSWM is intended to provide you with the needed business strategy tools to support you during the entrepreneurial process when conceiving, launching and growing a new venture in the water and sanitation sector. It is based on the principles of strategic management, a powerful tool for entrepreneurs that involves developing a plan to guide a company as it attempts to accomplish its goals.
The following list of further readings presents a collection of material that shall guide you through the entrepreneurial process, as well as giving you an introduction of the potential opportunities for business in the sanitation sector.
This toolkit was developed by Aidenvironment and BiD Consult, two Dutch consultancies who have worked with entrepreneurial start-ups in the water and sanitation sector in India. The toolkit is aimed at business development in markets at the “bottom of the pyramid,” with the goal of improving water and sanitation services for the poorest of the poor. The toolkit explains the principles of doing business at the bottom of the pyramid, offers a step-by-step business development approach, and provides practical tools, tips and background information based on the experiences of real-life start-ups.
GAGEL, D. (2008): Start and Improve Your Business. The all-in-one Business Manual for Start-ups and Entrepreneurs in Developing Countries. Heidelberg: Business Development Services (BDS) Forum. URL [Accessed: 15.08.2012]. PDF
This manual guides future entrepreneurs through the steps of starting a new business from the beginning stages of business idea generation up to founding and developing a running business. The manual is divided into four main sections: 1) Business idea generation, 2) Information seeking, 3) Starting up your business, 4) Follow up and improve your business.
NIH (n.y.): A Roadmap to Starting a Successful Business. Washington D.C.: National Institutes of Health (NIH), Office of Strategic Management Planning and Small Business Office. URL [Accessed: 26.09.2012]. PDF
This guideline is prepared to assist new entrepreneurs when learning the new skills needed to cope with the challenges of entrepreneurship. It serves as a reference tool for individuals in all aspects related to starting a business, from the planning stage and the implementation stage, up to the stabilization stage.
The fact sheet describes sanitation as a good business opportunity. The challenge is to find and identify effective, scalable, and sustainable sanitation solutions with economic attractiveness and allocate investments and funds to be able to implement the projects. This process needs to be guided by experts of marketers and designers and can effectively supported by the central and local governmental agencies and NGOs.
This guide addresses the role of business at the bottom of the pyramid in providing services like water, sanitation, healthcare, and housing to impoverished people to reach the Millennium Development Goals. It describes general business models that can be used, case studies where businesses have entered into the market at the bottom of the pyramid, and recommendations for businesses to effectively provide needed services to the poor.
This article is a call for business to take action internally and to influence others to act urgently to give improved sanitation the priority of it need. It presents a set of case studies in which private companies and entrepreneurs have contributed to improve the situation in different part of the world and at the same time, have created profit.
UNESCO, Section for Technical and Vocational Education (Editor) (2006): Starting my own Small Business. A Training module on Entrepreneurship for learners in a non-formal setting. Paris: UNESCO Publishing. URL [Accessed: 26.09.2012]. PDF
This guideline for facilitators is intended to motive people in developing countries to enter the entrepreneurship path, serving as well as an introduction to ethical entrepreneurship. The training package is divided in Part A - Business Skills and Part B- Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Each Unit presents a set of simple exercises to carry out with the group of trainees, composed by people without formal education.
http://www.entrepreneur.com [Accessed: 26.08.2012]
This web page contains a number of tools, news and tips for entrepreneurs so they can develop solid and innovative business in different areas. It contains an entire section for start-ups that describe guides, basics, business ideas, financing and success stories.
http://www.entrepreneurship.org [Accessed: 26.08.2012]
Entrepreneurship.org is an online community designed to build entrepreneurial economies as well as serve as a resource for entrepreneurs, policy makers, investors, mentors, researchers and academics around the world. It contains a vast resource centre with several tools to support the entrepreneurs building up their star-ups. Training material and further readings extracted from this platform are cited as Ewing Marion Kauffmann Foundation.
http://www.smetoolkit.org [Accessed: 26.09.2012]
The SME Toolkit website offer a free online training course on how to start your own business, as well as tools to write your business plan, accounting, financing and many other topics.
http://www.cewas.org [Accessed: 04.01.2011]
cewas is a Swiss-based international centre of competence in the field of sustainable sanitation and water resource management. It combines advanced education with a start-up centre, a think tank, and a business platform.