In a significant stride towards addressing Nigeria’s critical water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) challenges, the Reckitt Fight for Access Accelerator is proud to introduce a cohort of six social businesses poised to make a lasting impact.
After a rigorous selection process which saw over 200 applications, these six businesses will get access to 2 boot camps with over 30+ hours of skill-based volunteering, 36+ hours dedicated to support them, and 9 Reckitt mentors.
With only 10% of Nigerians enjoying access to water, sanitation and hygiene services, this accelerator sparks hope for building towards a brighter, more sustainable future.
Meet the six brilliant entrepreneurs and their innovative models and impact-oriented solutions:
Let’s Build for Humanity – Restrom founder and UN Sustainable Development Solutions fellow, Michael Ojo, teaching young Nigerians about effective hygiene practices.
Let’s Build for Humanity goes beyond the conventional approach of constructing toilets; they create opportunities. This model involves crafting high-quality mobile toilets and selling them to micro-entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs then install sanitation units in private homes, schools, and residential compounds. The collected waste undergoes a transformation at a specialised facility, turning it into organic fertiliser and livestock feed.
Imagine school water systems that are powered by the sun where clean, safe water flows freely, and hygiene education thrives. That’s precisely what the Onyeisi Care Foundation’s WASH Project is all about. They are focused on installing solar-powered boreholes and toilet facilities in schools with the objective of increasing access to quality education, improved health, and promoting hygiene practices to young Nigerians who need it the most. Onyeisi Care Foundation is also developing an impact monitoring app to maintain their commitment and transparency to the bold target of 500 installations of their solution across Nigeria by 2030.
“Being a young girl in Nigeria and having to face your period can be very challenging” tells Sarah Kuponyi, founder of Alora Reusable Pads. She tells from the lived experience which she shares with over 37 million Nigerian girls and women who are unable to afford menstrual hygiene products. To keep up with their monthly cycles, girls create makeshift napkins out of old cloth, a solution which can be both unsanitary and ineffective. Often, girls opt to stay at home throughout the entire length of their bleeding, missing school on a regular basis in fear of ridicule and shame.
Alora strives to solve “period poverty” by producing and selling eco-friendly reusable menstrual hygiene products that offer an affordable and environmentally friendly alternative to disposable napkins.
Toiletpride addresses Nigeria’s sanitation challenges by tackling open defecation, affecting 48 million people as per a 2021 WASH report. Their strategy involves resolving two primary issues: the lack of access to toilets and a low demand for their construction. The organization’s initiative, the Accelerating Access to Rural Sanitation in Nigeria Project (AATRISAN), employs a market-facilitation model. It supports businesses in providing affordable, quality toilets through marketing, direct sales, and credit access. Simultaneously, Toiletpride runs behavior change campaigns via events, school programs, and direct communication to promote toilet use within communities.
SOSO Care is an insuretech social enterprise on a mission like no other. They’re turning recyclable garbage into a financial lifeline, making micro health insurance accessible to millions of uninsured Nigerians living in underserved areas, including pregnant women and children. The way it works is that local community members can collect recyclable waste such as glass and plastic bottles, and drop them off at specific SOSO Care locations. Partner agents then sell the collected waste to recycling companies and turn the earnings into a health fund that covers the modest $1 monthly individual health insurance premium offered by SOSO Care.
Kiddies and Brands
Kiddies and Brands is on a mission to transform hand-washing into a vibrant, memorable adventure for primary school students. Knowing that habits are formed at an early age, the team makes use of a range of methods to teach children how to practice proper hygiene. From classic storytelling approaches that play on the emotions, to interactive UV-light demonstrations that bring a “wow factor”, Kiddies and Brands transforms the everyday activity of hygiene and sanitation into a source of fun and imagination.
Having written and supplied over 100,000 copies of hand washing and oral hygiene storybooks, the team is committed to pursuing their mission of establishing proper handwashing techniques to 300 primary schools in the Lagos state of Nigeria.
The Fight for Access Accelerator is in line with Reckitt’s belief that access to high-quality health, hygiene and nutrition is not a privilege but a universal human right. Reckitt has partnered with Yunus Social Business to catalyse innovative social enterprises that offer solutions in WASH to parts of the world that need it the most.
Fight for Access Numbers in Nigeria So Far
Reckitt received a total of 238 applications and filtered 88 applications. 28 interviews were conducted, and 15 organizations, of which 27% are female-led, were shortlisted after the application window. 70 entrepreneurs were contacted directly, and over 50+ sourcing partner services were engaged.