WHAT WE DO
RISE by Sundara Fund supports early stage female entrepreneurs working in water, sanitation and hygiene spaces with critical funding and mentorship.
Every day, on average, over 800 children under 5 years of age die from diarrhoeal diseases due to lack of clean water, compromised sanitation and hygiene. 780 million people are currently utilizing water from an unsafe drinking source. 2.5 billion people lack access to decent sanitation. That's 1 in 3 people across the entire globe.
In many developing countries, there are still few women in leadership positions. Only 9% of startups in Africa are founded by women. Female entrepreneurs have less access to mentorship, capital, or role models in business, unlike their male counterparts.
We believe in a world with democratized entrepreneurship, where women, regardless of where they were born can pursue innovative health solutions, create jobs in their communities and improve the quality of life for themselves and those around them.
We know that when women are given the tools they need to drive change, they flourish in unimaginable ways.
In 2020, we launched RISE to leverage our knowledge and expertise to become a grant-giving organization and a thought leader in the water, sanitation and hygiene field.
We seek to empower women to think of themselves as change agents and entrepreneurs, making the change they desire rather than relying on companies or non-profits. We give confidence, support, and seed funding to those fearless enough to undertake the entrepreneurial journey. It is an honor to stand beside them.
HOW WE GOT HERE
Seven years ago, Sundara was founded as non-profit that recycles hotel soap. Since then, we have worked across India, Uganda and Myanmar, hiring 40 women and providing them with their first ever formal employment. We recycled over 1 million bars of soap, while reaching 200,000 people with intensive hygiene education each.
Recognizing that the women we hired had ideas to further change and improve the health of their communities, we asked ourselves how we could better support them to become change makers in their own right. With $100,000 of capital we set out to find these entrepreneurs. Our first application reached over 300 people in 56 countries.
Thus began RISE.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED
APPLY TO OUR
Seeking all change-makers ready to embark on a meaningful journey. If you are an individual or locally led non-profit with an idea on how to improve water, sanitation or hygiene issues in your own community, let’s join forces. Selected projects will benefit female entrepreneurs or empower women in developing and middle income countries.
For every $1.00 investment into sanitation programs there is a $5.00 return - and for every $1.00 invested into clean water programs alone, there is a $7.00 return. Beyond your financial investment, by joining our CSR programs you’ll reduce the disparity gap between female and male entrepreneurs, helping women to act as thought-leaders and change-makers against all odds.
Sustainability is at the core of our programming. Our goal is not to have our fellows rely on long-term funding, but rather benefit from initial seed-funding, allowing their water, sanitation and hygiene programs to flourish and become profitable on their own. When you invest in an entrepreneur, your support acts as a catalyst for long-term, sustainable change within underserved communities.