In the Zambian water sector, we have established ourselves since 2013 as a reliable and implementing partner in enabling professional water supply in peri-urban areas and strengthening vocational training in the water sector. Leveraging this extensive experience, we've embarked on a new endeavour – Corporate Social Innovation services in Zambia. Drawing from our knowledge bank cultivated in Zambia, Mozambique, and Switzerland, we're diving into this innovative landscape.
In collaboration with Zambia's largest bank, Zanaco, we are thrilled to introduce the "Zanaco Green Innovation Challenge powered by WfW". We designed the challenge to provide valuable guidance to start-ups specialising in sustainability. Within this partnership and service, we can elevate our role, positioning us as not just program implementers but as catalysts of innovation within the country. This initiative underscores our commitment to driving impactful solutions in the industry and opens avenues for scalable opportunities with prospective partners – a vision our local S&P teams fervently nurtured.
The new service supports and extends our impact in line with our presence in the country and is the first implementation of a WfW sustainability service outside of Switzerland. Our role in it goes beyond mere mentorship and envisages supporting start-ups in developing solutions that have far-reaching impacts on ecosystem sustainability. With our growing Zambian team, we will drive the challenge and plan to expand our services in partnership with more companies.
About the Zanaco Green Innovation Challenge
A growing world has increased demand for products and services, increasing the use of our planet’s resources. The effects of this on our planet have led to overuse and depletion of natural resources and damage to our environment and climate. We, as humans, have to manage our lives and the businesses we run and create - not only for our generation but for all those to come. That's where the Zanaco Green Innovation Challenge, powered by WfW, comes in.
We've crafted a pioneering business challenge to propel Zambia's sustainability-focused startups. This venture offers selected innovators the unique opportunity to engage in an immersive business and design boot camp, receive strategic mentorship, and access service- or product-market fit support. Winning in this Challenge also means securing vital seed funding, seeding the grounds for tangible transformation.
The official launch of the Challenge took place in Lusaka with a press briefing on August 4th, 2023. The presence of Eng. Collins Nzovu, the Minister of Green Economy and Environment, alongside key representatives from Zanaco and WfW, underscores the significance of our work and marks a pivotal moment in our journey to implement sustainable and social services in Zambia through collaborations with business partners.
The Minister of Green Economy and Environment Eng. Collins Nzovu and key representatives of Zanaco and WfW.
Eight innovative businesses were selected from over 100 applicants, and they successfully attended the weeklong bootcamp conducted in the first week of September. WfW staff, Zanaco staff, and external facilitators conducted workshops to guide the innovators through several business and sustainability-focused workshops, including a lean canvas, customer journey, impact measuring framework, ESG financing and storytelling. The bootcamp ended with a speed dating session with various experts in sectors such as water, climate change, sustainability and circular economy and the participants also presented their business pitches to the audience.