Building the future of water entrepreneurship in the Middle East
With this ambition, cewas set out to in 2013 to support environmental entrepreneurs in Middle East – a region where there are so many water issues, so many vulnerable groups waiting for water and other basic services. From this initial idea, it took a little while (and lots of coffee and talking) to make things happen, but with persistence and the generous support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) we rolled out the first incubation programmes, starting in Palestine, followed by Jordan and Lebanon, and ultimately Iraq.
Throughout this journey, we had the pleasure to work with a large number of marvellous, dedicated, highly creative and solution-oriented entrepreneurs. Many of them gradually developed innovative approaches to tackle challenges in different areas of their business model, ranging from product development via logistics to marketing or the overall positioning of their solutions.
The perspective 'Innovating Business Models' analyses and structures some the innovation strategies adapted by those entrepreneurs who lead the water-related entrepreneurs we have worked with throughout the Middle East. We have complemented these strategies with other innovative business approaches we encountered in other parts of the world to compile a comprehensive suite of strategies that is meant to inspire entrepreneurs who seek to achieve meaningful impact related to water, sanitation, hygiene, waste management and adjacent areas through sustainable business models.
The development of this toolkit was led by cewas' Janek Hermann-Friede, who curated, conceptualized and coordinated the research around the presented innovation strategies. Aline Bussmann, Hannah Wuzel, Nashwan Dahir, Maisam Otoum and Cora Craigmile reseached specific cases, complemented first-hand insights from the Middle East and developed the Innovation strategy factsheets. Tandiwe Erlmann led the development of the suite of factsheets on 'Eco-Innovation: Tools and Processes'. We were inspired to develop this toolkit by the innovative solutions of the featured enterprises, who we admire for their courage to develop innovative solutions to tackle some of the key challenges around basic services: Safaa Group for Plumbing, Msabi, Envatechs, Plastic Bank, Organyclean, Live Love Recycle, Green Tech, Too Good To Waste, Eco Soap Bank, Saati, Spouts of Water, Compost Baladi, FabricAid, Benaa, Spring Health, Lootel Café, Innovating Green Technology (IGT), Drinkwell, Soil, Garv Toilets, Uduma, Sanergy, Clara Water, Washywash, Vetiver TT, Solvillion, Clear Water Farms, Cassa and Komodo Water.