Access to Sanitation Is a Human Right — And Women Entrepreneurs Are Making a Difference

More than 2 billion people worldwide do not have access to basic sanitation, denying them the basic human right of living their lives with dignity and holding them back from progress. Business leaders and change-makers around the world are developing solutions to expand access to sanitation in their communities, but they often need support to bring their models to scale.

In this series sponsored by Kimberly-Clark, we’ll take a closer look at the Women in the Sanitation Economy Innovation Lab — which aims to cultivate and catalyze women-led, early-stage businesses that provide sanitation solutions to communities in need. Launched by Kimberly-Clark and its Kotex brand in partnership with the Toilet Board Coalition, the Innovation Lab recently completed its first pilot that included five startup businesses from Kenya, the U.S. and the U.K., along with Kimberly-Clark employees from around the globe who served as mentors to the female entrepreneurs.

As we move through this series, we’ll take a closer look at the startups and their ideas, explore how mentor-mentee relationships helped move these models forward, and discuss lessons learned that can help to scale access to sanitation worldwide.


Content from this campaign

Philanthropy & Cause Initiatives

Making Lives Better Through Humanity-Centric Innovation
It’s difficult to fathom, but roughly 2 billion people around the world don’t have access to basic sanitation, including toilets and wastewater systems. According to, “More people have a mobile phone than a toilet.”

Philanthropy & Cause Initiatives

This Engineer Once Lived Without Access to a Toilet - Now He's Helping Entrepreneurs Provide One for Others
Life for Sewedo Mautin looked very different when he was growing up in Nigeria. He didn’t have a reliable toilet in his home for the first 22 years of his life.

Diversity & Inclusion

Lessons on Mentoring From a Sanitation Startup Accelerator for Women Entrepreneurs
The Women in the Sanitation Economy Innovation Lab aims to help women-led and women-focused businesses in the sanitation and hygiene space achieve success.

Health & Healthcare

How Mentorship Changed the Game for This Kenyan Entrepreneur
“My child has a reason to smile. We used cans before, but now we have a reason to smile.” This is one of many heartfelt testimonials for the Utulav toilet, created by Syna Consultancy in Kenya.

Health & Healthcare

This Social Enterprise Wants to End Period Stigma and Empower Women and Girls
When Diana Sierra founded Be Girl a decade ago, global period protection wasn't yet a hot topic. In traveling to Uganda, she was surprised to learn that girls lacked effective ways to manage their periods.

Health & Healthcare

This New Innovation Lab Supports Women Entrepreneurs Who Solve Sanitation Challenges
Under normal circumstances, many people around the world face discrimination around menstruation as well as difficulty obtaining hygiene supplies, either due to unaffordability, lack of access or inadequate information.
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