Berkeley Haas Case Series

Case Information

Sanergy: Tackling Sanitation in Kenyan Slums
Walske, Jennifer , and Laura D'Andrea Tyson
Publication date: 7/1/2016, pages 1-23

This case centers on Sanergy, a five-plus-year-old hybrid organization, that has become a high profile, high growth, social enterprise, known initially for its Fresh Life toilets deployed in the Mukuru and Mathare slums of Nairobi, Kenya. Sanergy’s co-founders launched their social startup out of the 2011 MIT 100K business plan challenge and quickly received national attention in the press. By 2013, the firm had raised a "Series A" equity round from Acumen, Eleos Investment Management (Eleos) and Novastar, the team had also begun its operations in Kenya to more rapidly build-out both sides of its business: (1) in its non-profit business, deploying Fresh Life Toilets to improving access to hygienic sanitation in Nairobi's informal settlements sanitation business, largely using a franchisee model; and (2) in its for-profit fertilizer business, with its Evergrow Organic Fertilizer, produced by Farm Star, sold to small- and medium-sized farmers in need of rich soil supplements. This case examines both Sanergy's hybrid business model and "sustainable sanitation value chain" in detail and explores the challenges the social enterprise entity will face as it continues to scale up both businesses and seeks to reach the breakeven point by 2018.

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