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SuSanA Secretariat, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

A business can be built around providing communal toilets in slums, then collecting the slurry and using that to make compost…sell the compost…pay the person running the toilet a fee, then keep a small profit to grow.

One example is Sanergy, a company in Kenya that helps improve sanitation in slums by using this unique business model. Here’s a simple explanation of their approach:

The Business Model:

  1. Franchise Model: Sanergy sets up a network of small toilets in slums, but instead of running them all by themselves, they offer them as franchises to local entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs, often called “Fresh Life Operators,” run and maintain the toilets as their own businesses.
  2. Community Toilets: The toilets are designed to be clean, safe, and easily accessible for people living in the slums. By setting up multiple toilets in different locations, they ensure that people have access to clean and hygienic sanitation facilities.
  3. User Fees: To use the toilets, people pay a small fee. This fee is affordable for the residents and helps cover the costs of maintaining the toilets and ensuring they remain clean and in good condition.
  4. Waste Collection and Treatment: Sanergy takes the waste collected from these toilets and transports it to a central processing facility. Here, the waste undergoes treatment and is converted into valuable products like compost and humanure.
  5. Selling Compost and Humanure: Sanergy sells the compost and humanure to farmers and agricultural businesses. These products are rich in nutrients and act as natural fertilizers, which helps improve soil quality and crop yields.

Benefits of the Business Model:

  1. Improved Sanitation: By setting up clean and well-maintained toilets, people in the slums have access to safe and hygienic sanitation facilities.
  2. Economic Opportunities: The franchise model creates business opportunities for local entrepreneurs, empowering them to run their businesses and earn a living.
  3. Sustainable Waste Management: Sanergy’s approach ensures that human waste is collected, treated, and converted into valuable products, contributing to a more sustainable waste management system.
  4. Agricultural Benefits: Selling compost and humanure helps boost agricultural productivity by providing natural and nutrient-rich fertilizers to farmers.

In summary, Sanergy’s business model revolves around setting up clean and safe toilets in slums through local entrepreneurs. They turn waste into valuable products and sell them to support the business while promoting better sanitation and sustainable waste management practices. This approach benefits both the community and the environment, making it an inspiring and successful business model to replicate.

View www.sanergy.com for more.

Also consider Loowatt. Loowatt creates energy and fertilizer from human waste.

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