Pete, founder and voice behind the podcast Get Flushed, invited Venugopal Gupta, Toilet Board Coalition Managing Director to join him for a session. Get Flushed is a series dedicated to the business of sanitation, addressing the urgency of today’s sanitation crisis and the market potential for businesses within the sector.
The world is facing a huge sanitation gap. Nearly half of the world’s population does not have access to a safely managed toilet and we must quadruple our pace of progress if we’re to achieve universal access (United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 6.2) by 2030. The Toilet Board Coalition was founded to do precisely this – the private sector excels at innovation and speed and is bringing solutions and skills to tackle this crisis. The Toilet Board Coalition believes the solution lies in collaborative effort amongst various stakeholders, with businesses of all sizes paving the way. The Coalition’s flagship programme, the Accelerator, is a one-year programme devoted to scale sanitation SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises), offering three kinds of support: Business model design, corporate mentorship, and access to investment.
“Entrepreneurs are very quick to innovate, and large corporations are used to operating at scale, thus through our programme, we bring innovation and scale together. What we really need for sanitation is not solely innovation, but innovation at scale.” – Venugopal Gupta Managing Director | Toilet Board Coalition
The sanitation market is immense. The Toilet Board Coalition pioneered the concept of a Sanitation Economy, outlining three different concepts around sanitation that bring value and generate economic returns, reframing sanitation as a business opportunity rather than a burdensome cost.
- The Toilet Economy involves building and providing toilets as well as its operation & maintenance.
- The Circular Sanitation Economy focuses on collecting, transporting, and treating waste, transforming it into a product that can be reintegrated into our market such as biogas or nutritious compost.
- The Smart Sanitation Economy is where data is captured, analyzed and where consumer behavior and health can be monitored and assessed.
Thus, the Accelerator invites businesses operating in these areas to join forces with our Members and accelerate the pace of progress. In its seventh year, the Accelerator has a large network with Members including Accelerator alumni, investors, academia as well as the multinational corporations who closely support participants throughout the programme. An impressive 97% of SMEs graduating from the Accelerator have realized investment or partnerships via the Toilet Board Coalition network.
“We see that the mindset around sanitation is shifting, there is more innovation and greater ambition within the global community as climate change forces us to think of circular economy principles. If in the past people would say access to safely managed sanitation is important, now we’d say it’s urgent. We are also increasingly seeing the role of technology and innovation as an enabler to bringing sanitation access to everyone. For example, within our past cohorts, we see artificial intelligence and robotics. It is an exciting time to be in the business of sanitation.” – Venugopal Gupta
Do you own a sanitation related business and identify with the above? Apply now as applications close on 30 April to be part of the Accelerator starting in January 2023! Annual selections are made based on mutual fit with our corporate Members, so if you’ve applied in the past, you’re welcome to apply again!
Tune into the Get Flushed podcast to learn more about the conversion between Pete and Venugopal on sanitation as a business.