An enterprise founded by David Auerbach and Ani Vallabhaneni, alumni fellows of the Legatum Center at MIT, has been honored with an award given annually by the Swedish International Development Agency's Innovations Against Poverty program.
Sanergy was named Social Innovator of the Year for having achieved significant development impact coupled with strong commercial viability. The company aims to develop sustainable sanitation services in urban slums.
There are several billion people living in low-income countries without access to adequate sanitation. In Kenya alone, 8 million people lack said access. As a result, millions perish from disease and water pollution, and economic productivity is decreased.
Sanergy’s objective is to build and scale a viable sanitation infrastructure in the slums of Nairobi. Their business model includes building the sanitation centers, distributing the units through franchising, collecting the waste and processing it into electricity and fertilizer.
The Legatum Fellowship program prepares MIT students to launch innovative and inclusive enterprises in low-income countries. Applications are now being accepted for the 2013-2014 academic year.