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Unique toilet services earn funding for Kenyan startup

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Kenyan startup Sanivation has received half a million shillings ($4,635.54) in funding after the public voting phase of the Chivas Venture competition. Chivas Venture is a $1 million (Ksh100 million) global search run by from Chivas Regal to find and support the next generation of startups creating a better future for society.

During an intense five weeks of voting, 30 of the world’s newest start-ups went head to head for a share of an initial $250,000 (Ksh25 million) in funding.

Sanivation is a Naivasha-based social enterprise that seeks to improve the dignity, health and the environment of urban communities in East Africa by providing clean, safe and efficient sanitation services.

The company installs free toilets in homes for a monthly subscription fee, after which they collect the waste, treat it and recycle it into charcoal briquettes that are sold at an affordable price.

“The funding we have received from this voting period will enable us prepare to launch our new municipality site in Naivasha town,” said Dickson Ochieng, Government Relations Manager at Sanivation.  “We look forward to the finals in LA to share our work with the rest of the world and claim a stake of the prize money.”

Mexican start-up WeaRobot, which received the largest share overall with $53,824 in funding, builds specialised robotic exoskeletons to support those suffering from muscle-restrictive diseases.

“The Chivas Venture has changed our business beyond all expectations. This funding will enable us to perform our initial clinical study to prove the benefits of using our product in rehabilitation,” said Ernesto Rodriguez-Leal, CEO of WeaRobot.

This initial funding provides many opportunities for the finalists of the Chivas Venture: finalist iDrop Water from South Africa has already been able to provide sustainable, clean water to 3,500 school children thanks to Chivas Venture funding received so far.

The remaining $750,000 of Chivas’ $1m fund will be awarded at the hotly-anticipated Chivas Venture Final in Los Angeles on July 13th. Following a series of quarter and semi-final pitches that will take the group of 30 finalists down to five, the grand finalists will have just five minutes each to impress a panel of judges in front of a live audience.

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Now in its third year, the Chivas Venture has to date received almost 6,000 applications across six continents from social start-ups that are striving to use innovation and enterprise to make the world a better place. With each of the 30 finalists representing a different country, the blend of social entrepreneurs competing for the chance to receive a share of the annual $1 million fund continues to inspire and impress.

The Chivas Venture is inspired by Chivas Regal’s founding brothers, James and John Chivas, who realised early on that success is much richer when we share it with others. The Chivas Brothers used their success to have a positive impact in their local community, showcasing a spirit of brotherhood and generosity that is still instilled in the values of Chivas Regal today.


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BT Reporter
BT Reporterhttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
editor [at] businesstoday.co.ke
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