Businessfinland.fi: A unique way to provide sustainable drinking water in AfricaFinnish technological solutions could solve many global development challenges such as the scarcity of clean drinking water.
Solar Water Solutions is a technology company, but to emerging markets, it is heading with an innovative service concept.
From charity to impact investing
So far, the drinking water problem in developing countries has been solved with development aid and charity. Solar Water Solutions wants to convert this into a sustainable business. It is forming a service concept where drinking water is firstly produced locally and cost-effectively and secondly sold to consumers at an affordable price.
“Consumer price needs to be low enough for poor and low-income people to be able to buy it. Otherwise, it would not generate wanted development impacts. At the same time, the price needs to be balanced to create a profitable business,” Solar Water Solutions CEO Antti Pohjola explains.
Price is one of the most difficult challenges for Finnish high-tech companies in the emerging markets. High quality means expensive. Many times, cheaper – and worse – solutions win the tender. Besides, in many cases, Finnish enterprises are not able to offer ready-made financial solutions.
Solar Water Solutions is trying to solve this problem with the BEAM program, which is funding the concept development. BEAM – Business with impact is a joint program of Business Finland and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It finances Finnish companies and businesses, which aim to generate development impacts with their solutions.
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Business Finland is the Finnish innovation funding, trade, investment, and travel promotion organization, headquartered in Helsinki. Business Finland is fully owned by the Finnish Government. Business Finland is part of the Team Finland network.