TRANSFORM launches new water utilities challenge

Published on: 26/02/2020




TRANSFORM launches new water utilities challenge

Do you have a brilliant idea that can meet the sanitation needs of underserved communities? TRANSFORM – a unique public-private partnership by Unilever, EY and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) – is offering support to pioneering water utilities that can develop and deliver groundbreaking sanitation solutions in sub-Saharan Africa.

Successful applicants will not only have access to funding of up to £250,000 but will also benefit from world-class support, expertise and private sector creativity of multinational implementation leads Unilever and EY. You know your community best, which puts you in a powerful position to improve lives with your innovative ideas.

The chosen utilities will be able to develop their scalable ideas by tapping into Unilever’s knowledge of marketing brands such as Sunlight, and the skills and experience of EY teams, who have already helped to scale 500 impact enterprises around the world.

Solving the sanitation challenge

Sanitation is a key indicator of sustainable development, and there are still billions of people without access to conventional sewers and wastewater treatment. To reach Sustainable Development Goal 6 – “Ensure access to water and sanitation for all” –, we must meet the needs of the 2.5 billion people currently without access.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to “achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all” by 2030. Failure to do this will exacerbate the existing social, health and economic consequences of poor access to sanitation, which widens gender disparities, reduces access to education, damages livelihoods, and leads to the deaths of millions every year.

Who can apply

Whether you are already developing a successful solution to common sanitation issues in dense informal or urban communities, or have a concept idea full of potential, TRANSFORM can support to either scale up your project or help to design and pilot an entirely new idea.

The challenge is open to applicants based in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Our goal is to form enduring partnerships for social impact, which can provide an effective blueprint for sanitation solutions for an entire region. Local enterprises and innovators are encouraged to apply, as well as those that include women in their key implementation team.

“Key to developing and delivering a new blueprint for sanitation services is a deep understanding of local communities. On top of the technical expertise and innovative ideas that local utilities can bring to this project, their knowledge of local markets and sanitation challenges will be invaluable,” said Richard Wright, Behavioural Science Director at Unilever.

Successful applicants are required to present effective market-based solutions, which will “help to address a pressing social issue with wide-ranging benefits including reducing diseases like cholera and dysentery, preventing children from missing school and adults from missing work due to sickness”, said Jessie Coates, Impact Entrepreneurship Leader at EY.

Take this chance to join a community of more than 45 businesses in 11 countries already supported by TRANSFORM and be part of this international initiative, which aims to positively impact the lives of up to 100 million people by 2025.

Apply now to change the lives of thousands of people in sub-Saharan Africa and help accelerate the accomplishment of the SDGs. You can find the projects already supported by TRANSFORM here.