SSWM Business Development Africa

The water issues are everybody’s issues! From the most industrialized nations, up to the least developed countries, the public as well as the private sector, industrial actors as well as rural farmers, they are all facing the threat or already the consequences of global water problems such as pollution, scarcity, droughts, access, lack of basic services and general deterioration of the environment. All societies, and their different sectors, are now looking for technical and managerial solutions that sustainable respond to their needs to water, sanitation, solid waste and environment related issues, opening a world of opportunities for individuals and organizations to develop a business in the sector.

Business development is about starting, bringing to life and doing new things an individual and organization didn’t do before. It is the creation of a new economy system in which the entrepreneur offers goods and services in exchange of money, on the basis of the perceived worth. It could be related to the developing of a new product or technology, or the hunting for new customers in new segments or markets. Business development is also associated to the modification of the value chain or the channels for sale, as well as the adaptation of new organizational competencies at the corporate level.

Starting a business in the Water and Sanitation Sector takes a great entrepreneurial spirit as well as excellent managerial skills, in order to succeed in this multidisciplinary and interlinked sector full of challenges and opportunities. The key for any business in water and sanitation is to come up with a marketing mix (product, price, promotion and place, as well as the needed partners under the given policies) to transform the need for water and sanitation into an effective demand. This should make the business profitable, enduring and independent from subsidies and support from outside organizations, ensuring its sustainability.

The section SSWM Business Development in Africa aims to provide entrepreneurs in the region with the needed tools, skills and experiences to start and sustain a Micro, Small or Medium-sized business in the water and sanitation sector. The particularity of this section is that it focuses on the Sub-Saharan African market, considering the key factors of success when offering services to all customer segments - also the poorest of the poor at the bottom of the pyramid. The tools that are offered to the entrepreneurs in this section are part of the STEP Business Development in SSWM, which is a more broader collection of methodologies and practical information for entrepreneurs from all over the world to develop business models and plans to successfully start up a business in the water sector.