The EnterWASH programme is funded by VIA Water, a cooperation between UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education and Aqua for All, which is being funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The initiative supports projects providing innovative solutions to water problems faced by urban populations in seven African countries: Benin, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Rwanda and South Sudan.
MDF Training & Consultancy launched EnterWASH in response to two major challenges in Ghana. Firstly, access to quality WASH facilities remains a huge challenge in the country and, secondly, there are large numbers of young people competing for few jobs and lacking the experience, support and financial capacity to start their own businesses.
MDF Training & Consultancy, in collaboration with the Ghanaian NGO Fair River International Association for Development, developed and piloted a hands-on programme on WASH entrepreneurship and innovation. Using our expertise in delivering custom designed training, we organised a practical training programme to equip participants from various backgrounds with the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to create and sustain innovative WASH business ventures.
To optimise the impact of the training, we are developing a national network of WASH experts, entrepreneurs and business experts who act as mentors for the young WASH entrepreneurs-to- be and provide additional support where needed. As part of the programme, we support the young enterprisers launch a crowdfunding campaign to raise seed capital for their start-ups. Building on the learning from the pilot programme, MDF Training & Consultancy will develop a comprehensive WASH entrepreneurship package for other organisations that recognise the need to promote business development in WASH.
Eighteen participants are currently enrolled in the pilot programme. Before the training, about sevenof the eighteen participants were managing a small business. Now, all eighteen have started or innovated their business. Some of the business ideas include improving water supply, setting up public sanitation facilities and reusing recyclable waste materials to produce jewellery or paper shopping bags. It is our aim that by end 2016 at least 15 participants will have been able to raise seed capital to fully launch their business ventures. The pilot programme is to be completed by November 2016. We will track the participants and their businesses for at least five years to monitor their progression and determine the extent to which their businesses have improved WASH in the communities.
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