First Toilet Business Accelerator Launched in 2016!

In January 2016 The Toilet Board Coalition launched the first corporate accelerator program to facilitate private sector engagement and mentorship to sanitation businesses and entrepreneurs serving low-income markets. The Toilet Accelerator works with promising sanitation business models that have the potential to overcome current barriers to access, use and adherence at scale. More than toilets alone, we are supporting commercially viable businesses at every point in the sanitation value chain.

“The idea is that if you can get thousands of entrepreneurs around the world starting sanitation businesses, they will find a way to make it accessible and part of people’s lives. They will also have a business to support them, which they don’t have today,” — Mauricio Troncoso, Kimberly-Clark

We focus on commercial viability, de-risking and scale. We take a human centred design approach: test all ideas; don’t be afraid to fail; build on learnings to get to a viable solution. We insist on commercial rigour, leveraging deep understanding of consumer insights, social & environmental issues, and commercial investment analysis.

The Toilet Accelerator works with sanitation businesses in three ways:

  • Accelerating: Identifying promising sanitation business models with prospect for scale – and matching expert mentors from across the TBC membership to address critical business issues to ensure access to capital and partnerships for scale.
  • Co-innovating: Co-innovating new solutions where critical components of the system do not exist, i.e. leveraging the innovation & R&D departments of our sophisticated TBC member companies to solve business and technology issues.
  • Bundling: Identifying opportunities to bundle sanitation to other solutions also targeting the same users, i.e. affordable housing, water, energy, and mobile for development.

The TBC Toilet Accelerator offers sanitation businesses:

  • 6-12 months of in-kind business support and hands-on mentoring tailored to your needs and the challenges facing your business
  • Access to global and local mentors: business experts from leading multinational companies, a business intelligence & experiential learnings
  • Partnership brokering & brand building through affiliation with TBC member corporate, NGO and institutional brands
  • Access to capital upon graduation from the Toilet Accelerator
  • Membership to Toilet Entrepreneur Country, a global peer-to-peer network of sanitation business entrepreneurs and Alumni of the Toilet Accelerator Program.

“We are hoping to attract and empower more Toilet Innovators and SaniPreneurs to this vast business opportunity with our commitment to support, mentor and invest through our Toilet Accelerator Program.“ Cheryl Hicks, Executive Director, Toilet Board Coalition

Apply to the next Toilet Accelerator Cohort here.

The 2016 Toilet Accelerator Cohort features:

Clean Team in Ghana

History: A social business started in the city of Kumasi in 2012, owned by the UK not-for- profit WSUP.

Model: Product to service model. Monthly fee for toilet servicing, including the rental of toilet unit and waste collection. Waste is disposed at the municipal treatment.

Laguna Water in the Philippines

History: Joint venture between private utility and provincial government, which decided in 2014 to explore how to replicate a portable toilet service in its concession area to reach last mile consumers – building on the success of similar model for water access to the same last mile consumers

Model: Bundling of sanitation services to the water service consumers (Water & Sanitation).

Svadha in India

History: Sanitation business founded in 2013 as a subsidiary of eKutir, an Indian social business.

Model: Svadha identifies, trains, supports local entrepreneurs that manufacture latrine components, commercialise them and ensure installation and after-sales

LIXIL Household Portable Toilet

History: Having identified key technological barriers for portable toilet projects, the TBC assembled the R&D teams of LIXIL Corporation, Firmenich, Kimberly-Clark and Unilever at the end of 2014 for co-innovation focused on improving the current generation of portable toilet solutions and exploring innovative technologies for small-scale waste treatment plants.

Model: Product innovation to be sold B2B to low-income toilet service providers.

RFL/iDE in Bangladesh

History: Initiated with the NGO iDE, seeking a partnership to develop improved sanitation solutions to build upon Bangladesh’s 100% sanitation coverage – to mitigate risk of back-slide to open defecation due to poor quality, unaspirational toilets. RFL, a plastics manufacturer has been working with iDE to develop higher quality pre-fabricated toilets, toilet shelters and waste treatment (biodigesters).

Model: Mass produced full sanitation product offering for improved and aspirational sanitation – high quality at a low cost.

The 2016 Toilet Accelerator Cohort

This post is a part of the April 2016 series on Inclusive Businesses and Sanitation. View the whole series for more business examples, research and insights on sustainable sanitation solutions.

Alexandra Knezovich
Alexandra Knezovich
Alexandra brings ten years experience working with NGOs, SMEs and multi-stakeholder platforms in the US and Europe to her position at the Toilet Board Coalition. With an expertise in project management, coordination, and creative development,...

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