Businessweek Archives

The Business of Toilets


They say that necessity is the mother of invention. That being the case, there’s a huge opportunity for some enterprising entrepreneur in toilets. In this, the Year of International Sanitation, the venerable Foreign Policy magazine released a report on the hardest places in the world to find a functioning, clean bathroom. According to FP “2.5 billion people around the world don’t have access to hygienic bathroom facilities.” While New Yorkers routinely fume about the lack of public toilets available in their city and you might think twice about waiting until you get home, if you’ve ever found yourself in one of Paris’ public toilettes, there are many others that have it much, much worse. In Eritrea where 85% of the population relieves themselves out in the open, the country holds the distinction of ranking not only as the worst place to find a toilet in all of Africa but the world as well. Haiti claims the title as worst in the Americas, Nepal takes Asia,Yemen is the best of the worst in the Middle East, and Romania takes the medal in Europe. It appears that the global market in commodes is wide open.

photo credit: Getty Images


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