Kate Cincotta and Saha Global: Providing Safe Drinking Water to the Bottom of the Pyramid Consumers

Kate Cincotta and Saha Global: Providing Safe Drinking Water to the Bottom of the Pyramid Consumers
Case Code: LDEN215
Case Length: 13 Pages
Period: 2023
Pub Date: 2024
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.400
Organization : Saha Global
Industry :
Countries : Ghana
Themes: Social Entrepreneurship, Business Models, Gender and Leadership,Women Entrepreneurs
Kate Cincotta and Saha Global: Providing Safe Drinking Water to the Bottom of the Pyramid Consumers
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


The case discusses about Saha Global, a social enterprise started by social entrepreneur Katherine Cincotta (Cincotta) (she) and fellow MIT alumna Vanessa Green (Green) (she) to provide access to potable water to consumers in Ghana. The company worked with the community to identify three women entrepreneurs to train them to start and run community water treatment plants. The water treatment system were set up near the dug outs so that it would make it easier for the women to fill water in the drums. The company donated the capital equipment needed to start the business, in addition to providing locally available materials such as aluminum sulfate and chlorine to treat water. The treated water was then sold to other members in the community. The women entrepreneurs used the revenue to maintain the water treatment business and kept the profit as payment for their time and effort.

The company had ambitious plans to provide access to potable water to 258,000 people in 838 communities in northern Ghana by 2027. Experts in the safe water sector opined that the major impediment to these plans was that Saha Global was hugely dependent on grants and donations and did not make a profit. Amidst these challenges, what steps should Cincotta and her team take to make Saha Global sustainable in future since it was a not-for profit model? Should the company change its business model to become profitable?


The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:

  • Discuss why globally women were taking up entrepreneurship and the challenges they face in their entrepreneurial journey.
  • Analyze how social entrepreneurs were tackling social problems in developing nations and in turn achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
  • Apply social entrepreneurship framework to understand how social entrepreneurs fulfill a social mission.
  • Evaluate how social entrepreneurs could scale up not-for-profit business models and make them financially sustainable.



Social enterprise; Potable water; Water crisis; Business model; Bottom of the Pyramid; Community Water Solutions; Legacy model; Rural Water Utility (RWU) model; Financial sustainability; Microinsurance program; United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals; Women empowerment; Gender equality; Grants; Motorking program

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