A Lagos-based waste management startup company has won €200,000 prize money. The King Baudouin Foundation conferred the African development award on them.
According to its website, WeCyclers is a “for-profit social enterprise that promotes environmental sustainability, socioeconomic development and community health by providing convenient recycling services in densely populated urban neighbourhoods.”
It received the financial award as support to enable it to increase impact at national and international levels. The money will also help to grow the business further.
The King Baudouin Foundation selected WeCyclers out of 200 applications for its innovative approach to engaging the community in waste disposal. They are also credited for “turning recycles into an economic driver for communities and turning citizens into agents of change.”
The company has sensitised and engaged 7 localities comprising of over 17,000 subscribers. In addition, they have created job opportunities by employing about 200 people. Women empowerment has been a huge focus for them. They make up about 60 per cent of their staff strength.
The plan of the company, according to its Chief Operating Officer, Olawale Adebiyi, is to give back to the community by expanding the business to other neighbourhoods. In the future, they intend on building their own recycling plant.
In a metropolitan city like Lagos, waste disposal has always been a major issue. The company, therefore, wants to pull its weight in contributing to making the roads cleaner and ensuring that the environment is clean and conducive.
WeCyclers is aiming to collect 5,000 tons of recyclables by 2020. They also intend to serve 500,000 households by 2023. They “are building a low-cost waste management infrastructure using mobile tech and cargo bikes and providing incentives for people to embrace the environmentally friendly habit of recycling their waste.”
The company is co-founded by Jonathan Kola and Alexandra Fallon. The CEO is Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola.