WASHKing Ghana – A Perfect Investment Candidate

By Till Wahnbaeck
August 19, 2021

Today, I can already introduce one such “second generation” candidate – and attentive readers will remember it: WASHKing in Ghana, the manufacturer of organic toilets for slums. I am writing these lines in Accra, Ghana after an exciting, tiring and incredibly satisfying week. Together with the founder Dieudonne Kwame Agudah and our social venture builder Matthias Rauthmann, we visited the slums of Accra, inspected the construction of the toilets, talked to dozens of customers and the local administration that awards public sanitation contracts.

I have seldom seen a business as impressive as Dieudonne’s. His product (a so-called biodigester, which only has to be emptied every 5-10 years) is so good that the local administration of Ledzokuku views WASHKing as the gold standard with the highest quality and reliability; Mr. Adusei Yao told me that there are no more cases of cholera in the areas where WASHKing built their toilets. Customers I spoke to (often women who live in a single room with their families) say that their lives have changed – having their own toilet means that no one has to expose themselves to the dangers of public toilets at night. WASHKing’s innovative leasing model means that they pay no more per week than for the often dirty public toilets – and after two years they own their own toilet.

The market is enormous: 40% of the population in Accra alone do not have their own toilet. The market is big, the product is good – but WASHKing’s self-recognized weak point is marketing and sales. This is exactly where we can help – after dozens of sales pitches with the team over the past few days, we have jointly developed ideas on how WASHKing can bring even more toilets to the people. The free support from Frieder and Ute Gamm from the Frieder Gamm Group, a leading provider of negotiation training in Germany, was worth its weight in gold: the two siblings accompanied us to Accra and started a coaching process that will turn WASHKing into sales stars; not because it’s what we think is best, but because Dieudonne demands it for himself and his team.

Impacc and WASHKing team on the back of a pick-up truck

En route to the sales training

And that made me realize once again what fertile ground our approach falls on, because it is often precisely the mixture of investments and new skills that it takes to make good ideas big. And to give everyone the same dignity, safety and health that Dieudonne’s existing customers already have.­

About Till Wahnbaeck

Till Wahnbaeck
Ex-CEO of Welthungerhilfe and private sector General Manager, champion of innovation. Till ran both for profit companies and a global NGO and has always strived to bridge the gap between the social and the private sector. As global CEO of Welthungerhilfe (a German food- and nutrition-security NGO with 2,500 staff in 40 countries and a budget of 250mio$), he championed innovation and impact. Previously, as Marketing, Sales and Innovation Director for consumer goods company, Procter & Gamble, he built innovation methods and processes to rejuvenate P&G’s global salon portfolio.

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