Recycling isn’t yet a practice that has been imbibed into Nigerian culture, however it is most definitely something that should be. Apparently Nigeria generates around 3.2 million tons of waste annually, which can be seen on the streets of cities all over the country. The job of every entrepreneur is to provide a solution to lingering problems and Bilikis Adebiyi-Abiola has managed to do this adequately.
The CEO of Wecyclers was born and raised in Lagos but migrated to America to attain a degree at the MIT Sloan School of Management. During her time as a student, Bilikis was assigned a project that required her to come up with an idea that would help people at the bottom of the pyramid. It was through this challenge that she developed a project that would focus on recycling and waste management which she would eventually go on to do in Nigeria.
The Lagos based company focuses on giving low income communities in developing countries an opportunity to generate income from waste in their environments through an incentive-based recycling initiative. The genius in this is that they get to partake in keeping their environment clean while earning rewards. For every kilogram that is recycled, participants are awarded points via SMS and these points can be redeemed for phone credit, electronics, basic food items and cash.
In order to transport the waste, Wecyclers build and manage low-cost cargo bicycles which collect recyclable waste in slums on a daily basis. One really amazing thing about what Bilikis does is that she offers her services to informal settlements in Lagos which happens to be where a large 66% of Lagosians live. This means she is able to provide a service to the people who need it the most. More than 5,000 households have already signed up for the service and Bilikis has plans to extend the initiative to other cities throughout Nigeria.
If you’re wondering how Wecyclers make their money, they work in partnership with Lagos Waste Management Authority who go on to sell the acquired waste to manufacturers. The manufacturers then go on to use the pastic to create goods which they will go on to sell. This is an entrepreneur every aspiring entrepreneur ought to look out for as she’s inventive, ambitious, and industrious. We can bet that in the next few years, Wecyclers will be changing the face of recycling and environmental sanitation in Nigeria as we know it.