Aimcare, a Nigerian social enterprise focusing in hygiene education, has joined Business Call to Action with a commitment to facilitate access to clean water and sanitation to 200,000 low-income Nigerians in rural areas through its WaterEase platform by 2024. In addition, it will educate 300,000 low-income rural Nigerians on hygiene, sanitation and waste management practices through its Extensive Health Education programs and provide 50,000 women with maternity/birth kits. In tandem, Aimcare will provide employment opportunities to 100 low-income female distributors.
Launched in 2008, BCtA aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that engage people with less than US$10 per day in purchasing power (in 2015 dollars) as consumers, producers, suppliers and distributors. It is supported by several international organizations and hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Approximately 122 million people in Nigeria still lack access to adequate sanitation. At the same time, the Nigerian hygiene and personal care market is experiencing rapid and dynamic growth, providing lucrative opportunities for beauty businesses from around the region and beyond. The market is currently worth an estimated US$3 billion, according to Euromonitor International. Sub-Saharan Africa currently accounts for 3 percent of global beauty products sales but that share is expected to grow at double the rate of the market.
Capitalising on this, Aimcare designed its Aimcare Hygiene Kit, a well-assembled toilet utility pack designed to meet the style and comfort of users. It sells these packs to private boarding schools so parents no longer have to go through the stress of shopping for toiletries for their children returning to the dormitory. Using a cross-compensation model, profits made from these sales are used to promote Aimcare’s Extensive Hygiene Education programmes in low income rural communities.
“Our cross-compensation model ensures profits made from our sales, as well as funds raised through international NGOs and donor agencies are used improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of women and children in rural communities,” says Aimcare CEO Mmekidmfon Umanah.
The Extensive Hygiene Education programmes include a range of products and activities, including health talking books that help women and children in rural communities to learn important health and hygiene topics in their local language, as well as maternal/birth kits to ensure safer delivery for mother & child in traditional birth attendant centres. The kit costs $4, hence relatively affordable for low income people.
Additionally, Aimcare created an online WaterEase platform designed to connect rural communities, schools or health centres in need of clean water in Africa with International and local organizations and individuals willing to provide help. Aimcare collects special data and analysis surveys to identify communities without clean water to enlist them on the platform. Funds from Aimcare will be channeled through WaterEase to address Water needs in underserved communities.
“Aimcare is committed to ensuring people, especially low income women and children, have ongoing access to clean water, adequate sanitation facilities and good hygiene regardless of location and economic status. In this way, through the commitments outlined under its Business Call to Action, Aimcare is making a significant contribution towards the Sustainable Development Goals in Nigeria,” says Sahba Sobhani, acting Head of Business Call to Action.