The Sanitation Shop in Cascas

Peru Sanitation Store

After graduating college with a degree in administration, Alexandra was at a crossroads. Her parents owned a hardware store in Cascas, Peru. She couldn't decide whether to join their business or take a risk and branch out on her own. Then, Alexandra came across a local contest for young entrepreneurs to submit a business idea to earn seed money. This was her opportunity to take a risk and establish herself as an entrepreneur. But first, she needed a business idea.

"I asked, 'What are we lacking here in Cascas?'" recalls Alexandra. She had lived her entire life in Cascas and knew the community well. The first need that came to mind was bathrooms. She knew at least 20% of families throughout the district didn't have safe sanitation services.

Armed with that knowledge, she quickly got to work creating her business plan for a hardware store that would focus exclusively on sanitation and bathroom products.

"Some people were discouraging me," Alexandra shares. "But I said, 'No, everybody wants to improve their bathrooms. There is a market for this.'"

The contest had 74 participants, and Alexandra was one of only 11 winners.

With the prize grant, Alexandra stocked her store with inventory – sinks, faucets, toilets, tiles, and any material families would need to complete their bathrooms. She began marketing on social media.

Thanks to businesses like Alexandra's, families throughout Cascas can now access all the materials they need to build bathrooms they're proud of.