Using franchising to combine trade and aid to tackle fundamental issues.

WSV develops micro-business solutions to development needs in emerging markets and, once proven, franchises to NGOs to replicate globally.

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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

Wessex Social Ventures C.I.C.

Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Growth (the pilot has already launched and is starting to expand)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $50k - $100k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 10,000 - 50,000

Organization type

  • Social enterprise

Secondary Focus Area

  • Water

Headquarters location: Country

  • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Headquarters location: City


Location(s) of impact

Uganda: Lira, Jinja, Kamuli Kenya: Kisumu, Kisii Cameroon: Kumbo



Facebook URL

Twitter URL

Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

The unsustainability of development work creates dependency cultures, whereby communities become reliant on NGOs and NGOs on donors. This is especially damaging in rural environments where traditional investment does not work and youth unemployment is high. People need to be able to solve their own issues, like sanitation and hygiene. This is one of the key barriers to achieving the SDGs. If NGOs can activate youth to implement self-sustained solutions, we unlock a huge amount of resources to create widespread impact.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

WSV helps NGOs build self-sustainable communities by realising rural people's potential to create change through business. NGOs then provide these entrepreneurs a franchise of one of our 3 micro-social enterprises. Current portfolio includes: Petal; produces reusable sanitary pads and delivers menstrual health education to both genders. Roots; builds eco-toilets, mainly in schools, and converts human waste into fertilisers. Sale of which to farmers, alongside community wide hygiene education, diverts money in communities towards tackling sanitation. Each enterprise operates on our micro-enterprise model. Groups of entrepreneurs independently growing businesses that create jobs and provide affordable, locally tailored solutions. Franchising a ‘Business in a box’ of these models through NGOs, overcomes NGOs issue of developing sustainable solutions, whilst creating a rapid growth social franchise with an exchange of value at every level.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

Outputs: -8 NGOs -180 entrepreneurs in Kenya, Uganda & Cameroon earning a non-seasonal income -13 communities -30,000+ pads sold -1,500+ lamps -18 toilets Outcomes: -3,000+ women and girls more confident and comfortable with menstruation -1,000+ people with safe, odourless and well lit toilets. -40 tons of human waste contamination prevented each year -Reported doubles and triples in crop yields and less pests -8,000+ people using safe affordable lighting -Removal of a fire risk in kerosene -Prevented 1,000+ tons of CO2 pollution from kerosene Impact: -Entrepreneurs investing in their households and education - Beatrice, Kenya, went from $1 to $5 per day. -Increased educational attainment, particularly girls -People openly talking about menstruation -Businesses use lamps to increase hours and earnings -Improved health - Self-sustaining businesses that grow organically to impact more people. Keldon, Kenya, grew his solar lamp rental business from 10 to 152 lamps

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

Our model creates shared value at every level. The enterprises are independent, sustained by creating value for communities. They repay their microloans and then pay a 5/7.5% franchise fee. This self-growing pot, funds investment into new/existing enterprises and can cover support costs. NGOs use existing streams to fund loans and support, making large savings compared to traditional initiatives. WSV charges NGOs; training, pilot, and annual license & support fees. Breakdown: 2016-17 74% earned income, 26% grants. Projected earned income; 2018 60%, 2019 82%. We break even at 20 NGOs, with our growth driven by our Million, Million, Million plan. To provide: 1 Million women and girls with sanitary pads; 1 Million people with safe toilets; 1 Million people with clean lighting; by 2022.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

WSV provides a complete systematised solution - self-sustaining businesses channelling money in communities towards solutions, whose products are actually affordable for people on <$2. A proven, scalable solution, that is lower cost and further reaching. The ROI from loans also create access to more funding opportunities. Together the growing global network of entrepreneurs, NGOs and partners, are working together to deliver shared value. This complete package is what makes WSV unique.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

7 years ago Enactus students from Southampton University established entrepreneurs to rent high quality lamps to people unable to buy them. The entrepreneurs’ income and thus the price of products was based on the local economy, meaning products normally provided through aid could be sold. 5 years ago this micro-entrepreneurship concept birthed Roots and Petal in Kenya, creating a rare viable rural sanitation business. As we learned and adapted, the projects impacted over 25k lives. It was while finding new partners we found NGOs were desperate for sustainable solutions and willing to pay! This was when we realised how to tackle the problem. This lead these projects to become the first UK winners of the Enactus World cup! Using this momentum, we founded WSV; to rapidly replicate highly impactful micro-enterprises by meeting the NGO sector’s need for sustainable development solutions.

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Ashoka page or contact


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