The investor in you

The perceived rate of return on a year’s consumption of self-treated, or locally-treated, water is low. In reality, it can be perfectly adequate, in monetary terms. Not to mention the so-called co-benefits, of a healthier person and the implications that this has in terms of social stability, business productivity and cultural progress. Hence, for example, the enthusiasm of the private sector in promoting ‘Safe Water at the Workplace’.

Carbon finance will increasingly be folded into broader calculations of gains. After some ground-breaking work on carbon investments, 300in6 is now expanding its ambit to other co-benefits. So that the safe water world can, just as other such sectors as energy, agriculture and transport, profit from an burgeoning co-benefits market.

We have presented investment opportunities and we break down the hurdles that stop an investor from coming in, so we try to mitigate as many of the risks as we can. We have taken a role of sitting on the board, or having board observer rights. We’ve taken the role of understanding more of the sector, we have spent the time doing the legal documentation that you need to have, to have the correct investment vehicle established. And then we do the monitoring and evaluating again through the lens of empowering: ‘How can we be tracking how the investments go? How can we be of value to the entrepreneur?’ As they need to be able to empower them to have a better chance of having success.

—Andy Lower, Executive Director of the Eleos Foundation, Santa Barbara, USA. The foundation is reducing its corpus capital by a spend to assist other investors to raise their RoR.

Andy Lower features in Upscale 1 in the trailer for the 300in6 video suite, and several of its assorted clips and podcasts on finance and safe water.

Scaling up access to safe water