Development of Innovative Business Ideas

cewas is passionate about finding sustainable solutions to increase water, sanitation and resource management challenges across the globe. In this quest, we provide young entrepreneurs and established organizations with support, guidance and structured processes to develop and vet innovative business ideas.

Through workshops, idea competitions or individual mentoring we convey a focus on functionality and customer needs to enable passionate professionals to find ideas that help providing better and more sustainable services than conventional approaches. We combine expert inputs, structured problem and customer analysis with rapid prototyping and testing to tap our clients’ creative potential and catalyse solutions for local problems.

Lucerne Water Guide

The Swiss Toilet Organisation of Willisau and the Swiss Environmental Foundation in Lucerne want to raise awareness for our total water consumption among the population of Lucerne and its millions of visitors. For this purpose, they have developed the first online fountain guide for the city of Lucerne.

The core elements of the “Lucerne Water Guide” are an easy-to-use web application and a practical reusable water bottle. One click gives access to a digital map where more than 60 public fountains in Lucerne can be located. These fountains provide fresh drinking water which can be consumed anytime. Another click and the nearest public toilet is displayed to the user.

  • Duration: April 2015-2016
  • Location: Lucerne
  • Contracting authority: The Swiss Toilet Organisation of Willisau and the Swiss Environmental Foundation in Lucerne (Schweizerische Umweltstiftung)

For further information visit the Online Water Guide.

The Water and Business Challenge in Jordan

15 enthusiastic environmentalists and entrepreneurs gathered in Jordan in April 2017 to develop and pitch their green business ideas that aim at solving some of Jordan’s most pressing water, sanitation and waste challenges. cewas Middle East kicked off the Jordanian Start-up Programme with a Water and Business Challenge. Mentors and coaches supported the entrepreneurs with presentations, design thinking exercises and instructions on the business model canvas before each one had to pitch in front of an expert jury. The jury selected 8 entrepreneurs to participate in the long-term cewas Middle East Start-up Incubation Programme in Jordan. The year-long course  is currently running in Jordan, supporting a total of 15 Start-ups through training, coaching and networking.

Download the original Flyer (EN/AR)

For further information, please contact project manager Aline Bussmann or visit our cewas Middle East website


Our Common Food – Enabling Start-ups to play a role in shaping tomorrow’s food system.

Ever thought of eating Insect Burgers? Or collect food from the Cloud Kitchen? Many young people have innovative solutions to food system challenges but don’t feel that they have the necessary information, support or networks to develop their ideas further.

In 2013 we implemented an ideas competition. Building on the success of this competition and the high level of interest amongst the young participants, we developed the Our Common Food Programm – an innovation lab which is tailored to need of young food entrepreneurs.

Since then, we have successfully delivered 2 Start-up programmes and supported 17 Start-ups to transform their ideas into concrete business models.

  • Duration: 2013-2016
  • Location: worldwide
  • Contracting authority: Swiss National FAO Committee; Federal Office for Agriculture; Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation

For further information, visit