YWF Springboard East Africa Program 2023

YWF Springboard East Africa Program 2023

Deadline: 5th of February 2023.

YWF Springboard East Africa Program 2023

The Young Water Fellowship Program (YWF) empowers young entrepreneurs to lead the solutions to water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) issues in their communities. The Springboard programme offers participants 6 months of support consisting of training, continuous coaching from Young Water Solutions and hiring of experts and consultants to build the capacities of your team and take your startup to the next level.

Coordinated globally by Young Water Solutions (YWS), the programme works with young leaders and their teams to develop new or existing social businesses that work to improve social or environmental conditions, mainstream gender equality and reduce youth unemployment at the local level, whilst also addressing SDG #6: water and sanitation for all.

At least 6 young entrepreneurs (‘’Young Water Fellows’’) will have the opportunity to participate in this Springboard programme.

This document provides the Terms of Reference to understand what the programme is about.

Eligibility – Young Water Fellowship (YWF) Springboard East Africa Program 2023

For the person applying:

  • You are 18 to 35 years old at the time of the application.
  • You are the founder or co-founder of a social business that contributes to the solution of a well defined water, sanitation, or hygiene problem in your country.
  • You are a resident of Uganda, Rwanda or Tanzania and you intend to stay in these countries for at least 2 years after the Springboard programme.
  • You work at least half time on your business
  • You can attend the in-person bootcamp of one week in April 2023 in Uganda (exact dates & location to be confirmed). Transport to and from the training location, accommodation, all meals, training fees and event fees are covered by the organizers.
  • You are fluent in English. The bootcamp and coaching sessions will be held in English so, if you work as part of a team, it may be worthwhile to put forward an English-speaking team member to be the Fellow.

Important notice: women are especially encouraged to apply.

For the start-up
  • The start-up should directly address at least one of the following issues, in line with the Sustainable Development Goal #6:
    o Access to safe drinking water
    o Access adequate sanitation facilities
    o Access to safe hygiene
    o Wastewater treatment and faecal sludge management (FSM)
    o Menstrual hygiene
    o Water scarcity
    o Water pollution
    o Water efficiency
    o Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM)
    o Protection and restoration of ecosystems
    o Solid Waste management impacting water quality
    o Other WASH management issues
  • Your start-up should be legally registered as a business and can prove between 6 months and 3 years of operations (i.e., effective sales). Traditional and limited in time projects or NGOs are not accepted. Note: In case your start-up is operating in Tanzania, registration is not mandatory. Providing a letter explaining why you are currently not registered will be sufficient. Instructions are in the application form.
  • Your start-up has a business bank account associated
  • You need to be able to report the impact of your business on your beneficiaries and justify the calculations of the number of your beneficiaries.
  • You have a clear strategy and internal policy on how to limit negative impact of your activities on the environment and you can report on its implementation
  • You can prove basic monitoring processes/documents of the startups (financial monitoring or forecasts, schedule of activities etc…)
  • Your startup must have at least 1 employee (different from the founder) or several subcontractors hired on a regular basis and can attest it / or strong partnership
  • Your startup can demonstrate active business development/prospection activities

Proposals with a gender approach and that have the potential of creating employment opportunities have higher chances of being selected.

The Programme will start in 2023 and aims to empower East African young leaders to take their social businesses that tackle water, sanitation and hygiene issues to the next level.

Eligible countries are: RwandaTanzania and Uganda.

The Young Water Fellowship offers you support in 3 ways:

TRAINING: Selected Fellows will be invited to participate in a Start-up Training Programme in Uganda (April 2023, exact date and location to be confirmed).

COACHING: Young Water Solutions coaches will support you throughout the whole programme with tailored business coaching sessions focused on specific areas of your business (communication, finances, monitoring of activity, team management etc…)

EXPERT AND CONTRACTORS HIRING: Although this programme does not provide direct funding to your social enterprise, funding will be available to hire the experts and contractors you need (accountant, finance consultant, communication agency etc…).

Selection criteria – Young Water Fellowship (YWF) Springboard East Africa Program 2023

The selection of fellows will be based on the following criteria:

  • Relevance and impact of the solution proposed to a demonstrated water-related problem
  • The innovative nature of the idea and the potential of its business model
  • The inclusive and participatory nature of the initiative: for instance, women and youth engagement, consideration of vulnerable groups’ needs, etc.
  • Initiative’s inclusion of water nexus: relations with other local issues such as energy, food security, youth unemployment, gender, etc.
  • Feasibility and sustainability of the initiative (existence of self-sustaining mechanisms, effectiveness of business model already proven)
  • Capacity to prove and report the stated figures (beneficiaries, turnover etc…)
  • Leadership and personal growth potential of the candidate
  • Relevance of the YWF for the candidate and the initiative.

Gender balance and equal geographical representation among the fellows will also be taken into account.

Selection process

The selection process is as follows:

1) The YWF Springboard coordination team reviews all applications and pre-selects applications

2) 10 to 15 finalists are invited to an online interview.

3) All applicants are notified of the results by mid-February.

4) At least 6 entrepreneurs will be selected to participate in the bootcamp.

Disclaimer: This call for applications is launched to prepare for the YWF Springboard East Africa 2023, and does not imply any financial commitment by Young Water Solutions at this stage. Please note that programme details are subject to change until further notice. All successful candidates will be informed in due course of any programmatic changes.

If you are eligible and decide to apply, you can download the application form to start working offline.

Please note that the online form contains many application tips for each question that you should read beforehand.


For more information, please click here

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