Micro Water Facility, an initiative of EMF, supports innovative, small-scale technologies for improving access to clean drinking water and proper sanitation in developing countries.
Micro Water Facility is a unique broker between entrepreneurs and financiers, between demand and supply of inventive products, and between parties that seek to contribute towards realising the Millennium Development Goals.
Conducting business in developing countries requires a specific approach, characterised by an understanding of and adpatation to local conditions and the the ability to find the right financing arrangements and enter into often unconventional partnership agreements. Micro Water Facility advises businesspeople and project organisations on the appropriate strategy to be followed and acts as an intermediary in finding the right partners.
The core activities of Micro Water Facility (MWF) are advising entrepreneurs and project organisations on preparing sound business plans, matching potential partners and developing appropriate financing arrangements.
MWF operates according to a meticulous and transparent method. Each project begins with a specific request, either from an entrepreneur or business that wants to develop their product, prototype or idea, or from a local development organisation that is looking for an appropriate technology to provide the local population with clean drinking water or proper sanitation. MWF then examines the request and takes the following actions:
MWF reviews the application against a number of criteria: is it a small-scale product, can it be applied in developing countries, is it financially attractive, and are there any potential partners? The outcome of this scan determines whether MWF will take on the assignment or not. If the result of the Quick Scan is positive, MWF agrees on the next steps with the applicant.
Whatever stage of development a product is in, whether it is in the initial design stage or is ready for market introduction, a good business plan is essential. MWF guides the plan preparation process, provides advice and if necessary calls in additional expertise.
MWF selects suitable partners. Drawing on its extensive network, MWF seeks partners which complement each other and which together increase the chances of success. MWF brings these partners together, facilitates the get-acquainted process and lays the foundation for fruitful collaboration.
A business plan tailored to local conditions provides the basis for a positive risk/return analysis and determines the right mix of risk capital, (soft) loans and, if relevant, donor funds. MWF draws up an application for a loan, finds suitable investors and advises the applicant during any subsequent negotiations.
MWF is able to bring together parties from different cultures and backgrounds, parties which would otherwise rarely have the opportunity to meet. With its expertise in the field of appropriate technology and financing, MWF is able to increase the chances of a successful market introduction.
MWF is an initiative of the Ecological Management Foundation and is an independent foundation.
The financial support required to launch MWF has been provided by the Adessium Foundation, the Entrepreneurs Fund and Aqua For All. In time the MWF aims to become self-supporting. Its services will therefore be provided for a reasonable fee. MWF is housed at the consultancy Aidenvironment, which will also provide additional expertise when required. MWF was officially launched on 1 July 2007 with the appointment of Frederik Claasen as programme manager.
Social impact investing is on the rim to become main streamed, this will take another 3-5 years, but the trend is clear: more and more high net worth individuals prefer to invest instead of donate, taking a more business wise approach. Investing in Micro Finance Institutions (MFI) is a clear example impact investing pays off, from a financial point of view. However the social and environmental impact of commercial operating MFIs' is not a given fact of their business. Most of these institutes realize they have to improve, so why don't MFIs' invest in water and sanitation?More »