by Mahiul Kadir, Hope for the Poorest (HP)
Improved private sector sustainable & equitable WASH service delivery is one of four strategic pathways of the WAI sub-programme in Bangladesh, which includes WASH entrepreneurship development opportunity. The sub-programme is creating opportunities to establish a WASH business in the working areas. Such business has clear social benefits: before the establishment of the WASH business, people had less access to WASH products and services from the private sector. Now they have easy access to affordable and equitable WASH services provided by WASH entrepreneurs. Additional benefits include creating an opportunity for women to become entrepreneurs, as they have an untapped potential to join and contribute to the WASH market and WASH situation in the programme area.
Hope for the Poorest and their support to entrepreneurs
Hope for the Poorest (HP) is one of local implementing partners in Bangladesh and is responsible for WASH entrepreneurship development in tea garden areas of Sreemongal sub-district of Moulvibazar district,Barguna, Kolaroa, Satkhira and Kolapara municipality. Through the project, HP provides tailored capacity development support to entrepreneurs who are selected from low-income families.. The support helps them run their business, link with micro / financial institutions for easy access to finance for initial or scale up capital, and build an enabling environment for access to WASH market. This involves work aimed at enhancing their financial services (integrate with microfinance services), capital, confidence, basic human capital, entrepreneurial skills and networks. Community people especially women who had some misconceptions on WASH business (such as business being a heavy work load, and male dominated), but now 23 women already have profitable WASH business and are becoming a role model to their community. The partnership is trying to ensure sustainable and inclusive WASH business that will have social, economic and environmental value.
Inclusive businesses that contribute to the human rights to water and sanitation
To make their WASH business inclusive, HP is also training entrepreneurs on human rights and gender and social inclusion, and is working towards articulating these frameworks and concepts in the entrepreneurs’ businesses. To do so, HP receives support from Simavi on the human rights to water and sanitation (HRWS) and gender and social inclusion (GESI), and from RAIN/Aidenvironment on locally-made rainwater harvesting technology and selling it in the context of WASH entrepreneurship.
More on the most recent GESI training can be read here: https://rsr.akvo.org/es/project/6892/update/31202/
More on the most recent HRWS training can be read here: https://rsr.akvo.org/fr/project/6892/update/31201/
Information on how the content of these training is informing entrepreneurs and helping them adapt their businesses will be published as soon as the analysis progresses during implementation.