Apprentice star presents prestigious WaterAid award for innovation to Portsmouth Water team

Star of The Apprentice Joanna Jarjue has crowned six staff from Portsmouth Water as regional winners for innovation in this year’s ‘Winnovators’ challenge run by international charity WaterAid.

The ‘Portsmouth Water Tigers’ battled it out against 30 other teams from the UK, USA, Japan and Australia, each determined to find imaginative ways to overcome a real-life water, sanitation or hygiene-focused problem.

The participants used ground-breaking thinking and fresh creative skills to come up with new solutions, enhancing their team-working skills and refining their creative business management styles, while also raising a combined total of £170,000 for WaterAid’s life-saving work.

Australian-based ‘Team Praan’, meaning ‘vitality’ in Hindi, won the coveted Overall Global Winners prize. They will visit India next year, where they will see how their sanitation solution prototype – ‘Poo Switcheroo’ – could help reduce people’s exposure to harmful human waste toxins with a double pit latrine.

Joanna Jarjue (The Apprentice, series 13) was inspired to get involved by the potential around this challenge for participants to both build their own skills while helping transform the lives of the poorest and most marginalised people.

Joanna Jarjue said:

I was shocked to learn that a child dies every two minutes because of diseases caused by a lack of clean water and decent toilets. It doesn’t have to be this way; we can all play a part in tackling this global crisis.

“It was really inspiring to be part of Winnovators and hear about all the great initiatives the different teams came up with to tackle challenges around ensuring access to clean water, decent sanitation and good hygiene, while also being creative to raise money for WaterAid’s lifesaving work.

“Not only did participants have the unique opportunity to help poor communities across the world; they have also built invaluable skills to take back to their own workplace that will help as they build their careers.”

WaterAid Chief Executive Tim Wainwright said:

I’m so impressed by the sheer dedication and hard work put in by all the teams taking part in Winnovators, helping solve real-world problems with innovative ideas while also raising money for our lifesaving work. This unique programme brings together the corporate and developing world in a truly inspirational way.

“Special congratulations to the all involved, and ultimately to our global winners, Sydney Water’s ‘Team Praan’, who will be visiting our work in India to put their ideas to the test on the ground.”

In India 163 million people don’t have clean water, and 732 million people are without a decent toilet. Consequently, over 60,000 children under five years old die each year from diarrhoea caused by dirty water and poor sanitation.

In a survey of 2017/18 Winnovators particpants, 94% said they had developed skills that can be applied in the workplace and 93% felt their teamwork skills were enhanced by the process. 90% of participants said their company’s support of Winnovators also demonstrated their values and integrity.

Any interested companies can find out how to join up for next year’s Winnovators at or email

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