The founder of a recycling business in Nigeria has won an international gong for entrepreneurial women.
Bilikiss Adebiyi (pictured), chief executive officer of Wecyclers became one of six Laureates in the Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards, it was announced today.
Adebiyi’s firm Wecyclers builds and manages a fleet of low-cost cargo-bicycles to collect recyclable waste in slums. The Lagos Waste Management Authority says Nigeria’s most populous city produces 10,000 metric tons of waste every day.
Since launching in August 2012, Wecyclers has put 13 bikes in operation, collected more than 60 tons of waste and generated more than US$20,000 (£12.5k) in revenue, enough to hire 16 people full time.
The competition is open to women from any country, nationality and industry and aims to “encourage the most vulnerable category of entrepreneurs in their most vulnerable phase: women entrepreneurs starting up”.
Winners are picked by a jury of business leaders and get a $20,000 (£12.5k) prize plus coaching support for a full year.
Other Laureates this year include Namita Banka who runs an environmentally-friendly bio-toilets business in India called Banka Bioloo and Priyanka Bakaya in the United States whose firm PK Clean converts plastic waste into oil.