We are excited to announce Bertzman Social Venture’s first investment. We started Bertzman with the intention to provide capital and advice to organizations implementing market-based solutions to the water and sanitation challenges of low-income communities.
We came across water.org and WaterEquity early in our journey. Many are familiar with water.org through the advocacy of Matt Damon. He and CEO, Gary White, are passionate about seeing water and sanitation not as a problem to be solved but a market to be served. Applying the tools of micro-finance to help households to upgrade their water and toilets has improved the lives of seventeen million people in thirteen low income countries. Click here to see Matt and Gary explain the approach in their own words.
Over the years, water.org has invested in building the capacity of private sector micro lending institutions to make small consumer loans. The demand for these loans quickly outgrew the funding available, so water.org established its first impact investment fund to raise capital. The third fund is nearly complete and plans are underway for a fourth fund this year. Our 500K investment will allow nearly 50K people to have access to clean water and safe toilets.
We recently visited Gary and the WaterEquity team in Kansas city and are excited to be new members of the WaterEquity family. We are looking forward to site visits later this year to see for ourselves how our investment is impacting lives.
When we started on the Bertzman journey, we established four investment criteria – a passionate founder, credible data, sound business model and the ability to scale. WaterEquity checks all of these boxes!