Our goal is to catalyze a robust business sector delivering sanitation to low-income markets, profitably and at scale, changing lives.
We seek 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. Our impact lies in growing robust sanitation business sectors to help deliver sanitation to all with speed, scale, sustainability, and resilience.
History: After the TBC had identified key technological barriers for portable toilet projects, LIXIL Corporation decided to take on the challenge of innovating in this field, and set up a Portable Toilet Innovation team. The team designed a new sanitation system for low income, densley populated living environments where conventional sanitation solutions such as pit latrines or sewers are nt an option due to space or cost.
Model: Product innovation to be sold B2B to low-income toilet service providers.
Distinctiveness: Innovative technology and new design of the toilet to improve upon acceptance barriers such as malodour, water scarcity, chemistry-friendliness for waste treatment and waste to resource opportunities.
Challenges: Acceptance of new toilet design, cost of materials, connectivity to waste treatment requirements
Investors: LIXIL Corporation. Funding to support field pilots: WSUP (via DFiD) for Ghana
TBC contribution: Co-innovation platform (TBC), cleaning solution advice/innovation (Unilever), malodor solution advice/innovation (Firmenich), field pilots opportunities (Manila Water, WSUP).
Date of creation: 2015
TBC Mentor Chair: Independent Director (TBC SteerCo), Other TBC
members involved: Firmenich, Kimberly-Clark, Unilever, UNICEF, WaterAid
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
Distinctiveness: Svadha is the first to promote comprehensive solutions in the range of $200 including manufactured products which it sells to entrepreneurs to cover its costs
Challenges: Svadha needs to confirm demand at scale, increase entrepreneurs’ sales, maintain corporate discounts on manufactured products, and reduce marketing costs
Investors: eKutir, Unilever
TBC contribution: Unilever, Grand Challenges Canada, and Kimberly provide funding and technical assistance.
Other partnerships triggered: Firmenich and Lafarge-Holcim
Lead: eKutir (Social Business)
Date of Creation: 2013
Status: 10,000+ toilets – Scale up
TBC Mentor Chair: Kimberly-Clark (TBC SteerCo)
Other TBC members involved: Kimberly-Clark, Unilever, Grand Challenges Canada, Firmenich
History: A social business started in the city of Kumasi in 2012, owned by the UK not-for- profit WSUP. It operates in a low- income area of Kumasi, a city of over a million people in South Ghana, where it started its present service provision with the installation of portable toilets in early 2013.
Model: Product to service model. Monthly fee for toilet servicing, including the rental of toilet unit and waste collection three times per week. Waste is disposed at the municipal treatment centre.
Distinctiveness: Households in dense urban areas without sewer network or possibility to build septic tanks are willing to pay for the service, more aspirational and economical than public toilet pay per use
Challenges: demand creation, logistics, product design, operational efficiency technologies
Investors: Unilever, DFID, the Stone Family Foundation and USAID
TBC contribution: Product design (LIXIL Corporation), malodour solutions (Firmenich), sales & marketing (Unilever)
Date of creation: 2012
Status: 1,000 toilets – Scale up
TBC Mentor Chair: Unilever (TBC SteerCo), TBC
members involved: WSUP, SFF, DFID, Unilever, Firmenich
Mass Produced Shelters 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 defication due to poor quality, unaspiational toilets. A plastics manufacturer has been working with iDE to develop higher quality pre-fabricated toilets, toilet shelters and waste treatment (biodigesters).
Model: The margins generated on mass produced shelters would allow covering the costs of market activation, either through retail or village entrepreneurs
Distinctiveness: Shelters as a driver to sustainability and improved latrines adoption
Challenges: Demand creation (plastic vs. concrete), product design optimisation, cost of recyclable plastic vs. virgin plastics
TBC contribution: Potential roles for Kimberly-Clark, Unilever and Grand Challenges Canada
Date of project creation: 2014
TBC Mentor Chair: Firmenich (TBC SteerCo), Other TBC
members involved: Firmenich, BRAC, Kimberly-Clark, Lixil, Grand Challenges Canada, World Bank, UNICEF
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 services to the same consumers (Water & Sanitation). Model enabled by efficiencies gained with cross-subsidies between higher income consumer segment (85% of households) and last mile water service network (15% of households), charged as top up on water bills
Distinctiveness: This model would leverage the assets of a large utility to rapidly and efficiently scale up portable toilets to 300,000 families in Laguna
Challenges: Need for regulatory approval to enforce the payment of an additional environmental fee on top of water bills, technical and aspirational portable toilet design that fits Laguna’s environmental and cultural context.
Investors: Laguna Water, Lixil Corporation
TBC contribution: Product design (Manila Water, LIXIL Corporation, Unilever, Firmenich, Clean Team), consumer insights and marketing (Unilever & Kimberly-Clark), access to financing for pilot testing (TBC)
Lead: Manila Water (water and sanitation utility)
Date of creation: 2014
TBC Mentor Chair: Manila Water (TBC SteerCo), Other TBC
members involved: Manila Water, LIXIL, Firmenich, Unilever, ADB
"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."
Vice President and Managing Director for Western Europe at Kimberly-Clark