Abdul is a pro-active entrepreneur from Makeni (Sierra Leone). As a winner of the Business Idea Competition, he benefits from a full scholarship for the first edition of the Global MBA in Impact Entrepreneurship he’s attending at the University of Makeni. During these months he launched his company called Envirotech Ltd.
“I want to use waste to produce wealth” he told us when we first met and since that day he has transformed his desire into a company, whose payoff is exactly waste to wealth.
But let’s see what he told us about it!
- What is your business about?
At Envirotech we provide strong, durable and quality outdoor tiles made with recycled plastics and sand that helps to protect the environment by making it clean, healthy and friendly.
Our business collects waste from different parts of the country, sorts them out and sends them to a central location where they are melted and bonded with sand to make plastic tiles that are used as outside tiles for compounds, pavement tiles for streets and other similar uses and also for the production of domestic products like cups, bowls etc. We would love to experiment in making them colorful so that they can be used inside house keeping the house bright and pleasant.
- How was your Business Idea born?
It came out as a result of my curiosity of solving environmental problems caused by plastic waste. Sierra Leone has low regard for waste management which is evident in the amount of waste that is littering around all the towns and cities in the country and the general treatment of waste by the various authorities. The general ideology of waste is for it to be thrown away and no further use for it is identified. Plastics have become a social menace, recycling is the only means of ensuring it remains useful and does not fill up the dumpsite.
- How can your business improve the life of the beneficiaries of your activities? Can you give us an example of this improvement?
Even though the business is at its preliminary stage, I have managed to employ 6 staff directly, it means I’ve created new job positions, and this makes me proud. I think Envirotech has the potential to employ over 50 people as it has what it takes to scale up. I have also been able to provide cash for a lot of young people who have supplied me with over 1000 kg of plastic. And, yes, of course I cannot help but highlighting that my activity has a great impact on the environment as it helps to clean it from plastic waste.
- What has been the main challenge you had to overcome in your entrepreneurial experience? How have you managed to overcome it?
The main challenge I’ve found is finding finance to scale up production. At the moment I cannot mitigate this challenge but with little savings, I am producing.
- In your opinion, what are the main qualities an entrepreneur should have?
One of the main qualities is knowing what you want. You should bear in mind what the problem you want to solve is and be ready to take risk or overcome business shocks. Also understanding your clients or customers is a key characteristic which an entrepreneur should have.
- Is there a person you are inspired by, i.e. an entrepreneur or a particular mentor?
I am inspired by Tony Elumelu, the great Nigerian entrepreneur.
- What would you suggest to a new-born entrepreneur?
I would tell him or her to take the risk and invest, but to first determine what he or she really wants and define well the problem.
- Could you tell us a particular satisfactory moment you had in your entrepreneurial activity?
Of course I can, the best moment I’ve had is the day I produced the first tile out of plastic and sand.
Learn More on Envirotech
Facebook page: @EnvirotechGeneralServices