Folia Water from Bangladesh has won the Sankalp Global Award 2021 in the "Health and Wash" category for bringing innovation to the mass consumer goods market.
Sankalp is a global award system initiated in India in 2009 by Intellecap to achieve the UN SDG Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 across the Global South.
More than 250 impact enterprises across the world have participated in the summit this year, reads a press release.
The final results of the award were announced at the 13th Sankalp Global Summit held from 12 to 14 October.
Folia Filters are made of nano-silver impregnated paper that looks and works like coffee filters.
Silver ions from the filter kill bacteria and other microorganisms, making the water safe to drink.
It is the world's first water filter to be sold as a mass-market grocery staple.
Mohammad Rashed, Folia Chief Executive Officer, said, "Unsafe drinking water is the most significant cause of hospitalization in low-income countries, and our innovation is a unique solution to address the 2 major blocks: affordability and accessibility."
He further added Folia water already has the proof case for consumer product-market fit and will start its commercial journey in multiple districts from 2022.
Expressing the feeling of winning the award, he said, "The recognition we got from the Sankalp forum is enormous, and it wouldn't have been possible without the generous support we get from our partners, investors, and our team. We take pride in this remarkable recognition from such a global platform, and this gives us more confidence and drives to achieve our mission of ensuring access to clean drinking water for the low-income communities and be a profitable impact enterprise at the same time."
The innovation is a unique solution for BOP communities to adapt to a drinking water filtration process at a price that matches their willingness to pay.
US-based Material Scientists Dr Jonathan Levine & Dr Theresa Dankovich are the founders of Folia.
Their ambition was to provide an affordable solution to safe drinking water for the low-income segment of emerging countries.
In Bangladesh, Folia Water is currently working in Jessore and Khulna districts.
It so far has provided access to safe drinking water to more than 40,000 low-income people through its affordable water filter solution.
In a systematic approach to increase distribution by combining social, behavioural change campaigns with orthodox retail operations, Folia is on its way to commercialization nationally and aims to replicate the same process in other emerging South Asian countries by 2024.
Folia Water's mission is to ensure access to safe drinking water to 500 million low-income people in South Asia and become the next $1B health staple.