WIIW

Supporting women entrepreneurs to develop sustainable solutions to WASH Challenges in developing countries

The "Women Innovators in WASH" is an incubation program aiming to support women entrepreneurs in Africa and Latin America with an innovative business project in the water, sanitation and hygiene sectors.

Created by

SUPPORTING WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS

The Women in WASH Incubation Program’s overall goal is to sustainably improve access to safe and affordable Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) products and services for communities living in Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Tanzania, South Africa as well as Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia.
 
We will support 50 women-led startups in the target countries with high-growth potential businesses in any of the WASH sectors and position them to scale their impact and reach more underserved communities by the end of the program. 
 
As a selected entrepreneur, you will benefit from a 4-month incubation and business mentoring program to further develop the viability of your venture, take part in sessions led by experts in the WASH sector, and pitch your business in front of a high-level jury for a chance to win a seed grant for your business.
 
Throughout the program, you will create your own executive summary business plan to present to potential investors or new co-founders while receiving the necessary support from a personalized mentor, and having the certainty that you are building a business validated by your potential clients.

Why participate?

Methodology and structure

You will follow our step-by-step methodology, working directly on your business and making the most important decisions. You will also be able to visualize your financial projections, growth, and impact plan for the next years.

Find your Mentor

You’ll be partnered with a professional to personally guide you in weekly mentoring sessions so that your project grows in the right direction.

Seed funding opportunities

Pitch your business in front of a top-level jury and win a seed capital prize, granted to the finalists of our final Demo Day event ($15K in total divided for the top 4 entrepreneurs: $5K each for the first two and  $2.5K each for the other two).

Experience Active Learning

Our platform offers a learn-by-doing approach inspired by MIT's Disciplined Entrepreneurship and you'll get to generate a business plan in PDF.

Anytime, Anywhere

Collaborate from anywhere at any time through our online platform; no barriers, limits, or excuses; just an internet connection.

Global Network

Become a part of a supportive community of founders from 89 countries that share resources and harness challenges together. So far, 3000+ entrepreneurs from 126 countries have gone through our programs!

We are looking for early-stage women-led ventures across the following value chains

WASH is an acronym that stands for "water, sanitation and hygiene".
Together, we want to support you to develop and scale your innovative solutions to any of the following WASH challenges:

(Safe) Water

Type of innovations may include but are not limited to: 

  • Household/ community water treatment and safe water storage
  • Innovative water treatment and water filtration in homes and emergency contexts
  • Products for testing water quality
  • Provision of safe water

Sanitation

Type of innovations may include but are not limited to: 

  • Lightning and amenities for safer latrines
  • Fecal sludge treatment
  • Innovative fecal sludge disposal

Hygiene

Type of innovations may include but are not limited to: 

  • Innovative handwashing solutions for difficult contexts
  • Affordable soap and soap alternatives
  • Affordable or sustainable menstrual hygiene solutions

This program is perfect for you if

Apply before the date!

Days
Hours
Minutes

October 23rd, 2022

Timeline

01
01

Apply to the program

Until October 23rd, 2022

Tell us more about you and your start-up by applying below. Our team will assess your selection into the program. 

Apply now >

02
02

Announcement of selected candidates

Mid-October

We will review all the applications and we will select up to 50 start-ups to participate in the Women Innovators in WASH.

03
03

Attend to the onboarding session

Late October

If selected, you will be invited to an onboarding welcome call to the program where you will learn the role of your mentor, how to choose your mentor, use the incubation platform, its methodology and much more!

04
04

Mentors and Entrepreneurs Matching

From late October to early November

Take part in our matching process! You will have the opportunity to meet online with volunteer mentors. Once you have met several of them, both you and the mentors will submit your rankings in order to let us know who you think will be the best fit for your project's needs. Based on the rankings, we will make the best mentor-mentee pairs.

05
05

The program starts!

From December until mid-March (4 months)

Welcome! Now you are ready to begin a 6-month incubation period to continue developing your business.

  • Follow our online curriculum with 8 modules to build a robust value proposition and business strategy for your venture.
  • Meet weekly with your personal mentor on one-to-one online sessions to get a fresh perspective and make sure you're in the right direction.
  • Attend online group meetings to meet the rest of the program's entrepreneurs and work on the soft and business skills needed to grow as an entrepreneur.
  • Join the different technical sessions with experts on the WASH sectors. 
  • Attend our final Demo Day! You will be able to pitch your business in front of a top-level jury and win a seed capital prize, granted to the three finalists of our final Demo Day event ($15K in total divided as follows: $7K for the first, $5K for the second, and $3K for the third).

the best methodology for your startup

This program offers a step-by-step platform experience that will allow you to validate your business model. The platform has 8 different modules where you will refine your value proposition and finish the program with an executive summary of your venture.

Thanks to Bridge for Billions’ methodology and platform you will test your business idea, while your mentor provides personalized support during the mentoring sessions, challenging your assumptions and offering a fresh perspective.

Questions about the program?

The more time you’re able to put in, the better the results. The whole program including application phase and matching will last 6 months. However keep in mind the mentoring incubation program will have a duration of 4 months.

During incubation, we’ve structured the program so that you are able to complete all activities within 6-8 hours per week (this includes an hour-long video call with your mentor and the work you will need to do in the platform). Take into consideration the different online sessions and workshops planned specifically for this program, as this will require more time depending on the week.

In general, if you can’t commit to at least 6 hours per week for 4 months, this may not be the program for you.

For those applicants that have a business partner, you can divide the work! If you have doubts about this topic go to the question: Can my teammate work with me on the project?

Nothing! This is a free program funded by Bridge for Billions and Grundfos

We advise you to have a laptop or desktop computer and preferably one of these browsers: Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox. Even though we recommend connecting from a desktop or laptop, our platform is also suitable for cell phones.

Also, we expect you to have a stable and reliable internet connection for your work on the platform and to participate in the calls with your mentor and the rest of the program sessions.

Once accepted into the program, you’ll enter the Matching Phase, this is the moment where you will be able to meet with your future mentor.

During that time, basic information about your project will be accessible to our community of mentors, who will invite you to initial meetings so you can get to know each other. You can attend as many meetings as you want, but eventually you’ll have to choose your preferred mentor.

If you have specific doubts about our your intellectual property go to the question: I’m concerned about my intellectual property if I apply. Should I be worried about this?

Your mentor is your guide throughout the program — someone who understands the intricacies of your business. Week after week, your mentor will help you validate your strategy and design your growth plan. Mentors support you within the platform and meet with you once a week outside the platform (typically using video calls).

Yes! If you are working with business partners, you can all participate in the program. Only one representative from your team should apply, but if selected you can easily invite your teammates to join your project later on.

Protecting your intellectual property is extremely important to us. Your application and program data are confidential. Both you and your intellectual property are protected by our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy. Your mentor will also sign a Mentorship Agreement that includes a confidentiality clause.

Can’t find your question here?

Contact  Michelle, Incubation Manager of the program Women in WASH if you have any questions.

This program has been built by

For more information, please visit our website