PRIVATE AND SOCIAL ENTERPRISE BUSINESS MODELS : Guidance for Civil Society Organisations
Enterprises of any kind must generate enough revenue to cover their expenses to be sustainable. Not all enterprises are for-profit and privately owned. Enterprises can be private, government owned or community-owned, and they can also be for-profit or not-for-profit, as well as combinations (hybrids) of these. Business models describe how (no matter what form they take) enterprises create, capture and deliver value and remain financially viable.
For CSOs working directly with enterprises, or for CSOs strengthening the enabling environment for enterprise roles in water and sanitation, it is therefore essential to understand the range of possible business models.
This understanding can help CSOs to be thoughtful and innovative when considering what enterprise model(s) might be most suitable for enterprises providing water and sanitation services. This understanding can also help CSOs to be realistic and to identify situations where business financial viability might be difficult to achieve. This is particularly important, because ‘Enterprise in WASH’ research showed that for smallscale water and sanitation enterprises, achieving financial viability is a key challenge.