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.
HOW WE GOT HERE
Sundara began as a grassroots, soap-recycling non-profit organization in 2013. Since then, we have hired 40 women from underserved communities in order to up-cycle over one million bars of soap, while also providing intensive hygiene education.
Recognizing the lack of access to clean running water in the communities in which we worked, Sundara took its mission one step further by piloting various sustainable, clean-water projects across the globe. We have now worked in the Water Sanitation and Hygiene field for over seven years, and we’ve learned a lot along the way.
Throughout our evolution as an organization, we have witnessed first-hand that when women are given the tools they need to drive change, they flourish in unimaginable ways.
This year, we are expanding our programming to female social entrepreneurs, who are driven to solve water, sanitation and hygiene challenges within their communities.
Women typically invest 90% of their earnings back into their families and communities, compared to 30 to 40% for men.
We have launched RISE - Rewarding Innovative & Sustainable Entrepreneurs - by Sundara Fund, in order 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.
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.