Sanitation Technology Funder Landscape

Resources to validate new sanitation technologies and prepare for market entry – prerequisites for achieving sustainable, scaled solutions – tend to be quite scarce compared to those available to scale proven solutions. As such, a problematic ‘Pioneer Gap’ exists. This funder landscape seeks to both clarify the ‘Pioneer Gap’ and point readers to potential funding and other resources poised to help fill this problematic gap. Two promising forms of funding are explored in detail: catalytic philanthropy and blended finance leveraging impact investment. A corresponding database highlights potential ‘Pioneer Gap’ funders operating at a global level and in three key geographies – Bangladesh, India, and South Africa.

Of note: the information featured in the accompanying database was derived largely from secondary research. It should be treated as a starting point for further inquiry and be refined based on an organization’s particular goals, needs, and opportunities. For questions about the information provided, please contact Amanda Rose, STeP Market Readiness Lead, at [email protected].

Key topics

  • Pioneer Gap
  • Funding opportunities
  • Enterprise philanthropy
  • Blended finance
  • Funder database




Country of focus:

Bangladesh, India, South Africa, Global


October 2018


Capital, entrepreneur, foundation, grant, launch, loan, pilot, technology, testing

View The Webinar

Amanda Rose, STeP’s Market Readiness Lead, shares the research that is the foundation of our Sanitation Technology Funder Landscape – Exploring potential resources to validate and prepare markets for novel sanitation solutions. Resources to validate and prepare markets for new sanitation technologies and business models— prerequisites for achieving sustainable, scaled solutions — tend to be scarce​. Consequently, a problematic funding “Pioneer Gap” exists (Koh et al., 2016)​. Amanda helps participants understand the Pioneer Gap and how to bridge it, and provides additional resources for those seeking funding.

Sanitation Technology Funder Landscape Database

This database serves as a complementary resource to the Sanitation Technology Funder Landscape report developed by STeP in September 2018. The report and supporting database highlight potential resources to validate new sanitation technologies and prepare for market entry. Specific emphasis was put on funders that may support technical pilot testing, market field trials, business model experimentation, and other “validate” and “prepare” activities.


Sanitation Technology Funder Landscape Synthesis Brief

This brief synthesizes the STeP Sanitation Funders Landscape Report and serves as a starting point for sani-entrepreneurs and other stakeholders to understand the funding challenge called the “Pioneer Gap” and possible ways to overcome this challenge. It also provides guidance on specific actions to take while seeking funding.


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