In 2022, Reckitt in partnership with Yunus Social Business, launched the Fight for Access Accelerator in Brazil and South Africa, which identifies and scales effective solutions for Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH). By leveraging the power of their people and their commercial acumen, their objective is to scale innovative, locally designed approaches that enable better access to health and hygiene by collaborating with social businesses. The idea is that by working with social businesses, Reckitt’s investment and support can live on over and over again as the enterprises grow, creating jobs, economic empowerment, and better health outcomes in the long-term.
In this article, you will get to know the 6 inspiring social entrepreneurs that comprise the Brazil cohort 1 of this accelerator and understand some of their plans, motivations, and ambitions for creating solutions in WASH.
Agua Camelo’s fight for access to clean water can be distilled into one simple solution: the Camel Kit.
Composed of a backpack and a portable water filter, the first prototype was produced in 2018 during the founder’s time in university. After multiple design loops, The Camel Kit now makes use of human-centred design to address 4 crucial stages in clean water access, namely the collection of water outside the home, transportation, storage, and filtering. The product’s material is made of innovative hollow fibre membrane that is both affordable and easy to maintain.
Founder Felipe Gregorio learned first-hand that the concept of a remote paradise can come at a price. He says, “during a sabbatical trip to far-off areas of Brazil, I encountered gaps in the sanitation sector that I had never felt before. This bothered me so much that he decided to use the learnings from my Engineering & Architecture degree to create a solution which is today called Florescer.”
Florescer offers decentralised sewage treatment by implementing individual sanitary units that access water through deep wells and makes use of auxiliary technology to preserve the sources.
William Pessoa’s first experience with treating water through nature-based solutions first took place over 10,000 kilometres away from his homeland. “From what I learned during my time in Croatia, I wanted to bring back to my own community in Brazil” he says.
When a mining dam collapsed in Brazil and impacted the Doce River in the city of Mariana, Willian felt an immediate need to act. He created LiaMarinha, a social business that aims to develop ecological and sustainable technologies to improve water quality.
Livelab shows us that one way to address a global issue is by leveraging the power of play. They make use of cooperative games to teach children how to care for water and regenerate territories throughout local communities.
Livelab was born from the dream of Edgard Gouveia Jr. who believes that “from epic challenges come extraordinary solutions!”
He is joined by Manuela Colombo whose specialisation in partnerships and community engagement makes for a perfect fit in their mission to activate the power of the collective.
“I am very curious and love the process of constant transformation. The idea of Piipee came to me in the middle of a dream, and when I woke up, I knew I should dedicate my life to it” says Ezequeil Vedana.
Piipee has developed a solution for water saving in toilets and urinals using natural extracts, nanotechnology, and biodegradable components are used. Piipee can reduce water use for urine disposal from 10 litres of water in a single flush, to just 1 ml. And because the use of Piipee costs less than the cost of water in one flush, users can save water and money at the same time.
“Ever since she I was a child,knew she wanted to help the world by becoming a scientist. As early as the age of 15, she made the decision to work in the water sector and help bring access to drinking water to the people living in the Northeast region of Brazil.
Their product, Aqualuz, is an efficient water treatment technology that makes use of only the sun. It was designed to be simple and durable so that even the most vulnerable people would have no problems using it and face little to no maintenance costs. With the strength of the product Aqualuz, Anna Luisa together with Leticia Bezerra went on to found an impact venture named SDW which stands for Safe Drinking Water for all!
Want to meet the social entrepreneurs of the Fight for Access Accelerator in South Africa? Visit this link.
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