A winner of multiple awards for his work in protecting Kenya’s environment, Geoffrey Mulei, has proven that solving society’s problems does not require university education.
He is the founder and CEO of Inkisha, a start-up that turns waste paper into eco-friendly shopping bags as part of the fight against the polythene bag pollution in Kenya.
Today, as a proud entrepreneur, his company has won awards that include the Global Impact Award – 2014, Intellecap Game Changers – 2015 and the Anzisha Prize – 2016.
So determined was Geoffrey to launch his business that finishing business school became a delay he just could not bear. This saw him drop out of the Malaysia School of Business in his second year to start the firm in December 2014. His decision to drop out of school met resistance from his parents and relatives but they ultimately let him follow his heart.
Inkisha now processes paper into branded packaging bags that it distributes free to retail outlets like supermarkets. It draws its revenue from companies buying the cover space to advertise their products. The result is a consumer cost-free solution that does not threaten the environment.
Having known Nairobi well and the effect of pollution, especially from plastic bags, which litter the city and block its water-ways, he quickly decided he did not need to complete his college education to implement the idea.
Inkisha now distributes about 3.5 million free bags monthly to major retailers in Kenya and has employed 17 young people. Inkisha not only saves the environment through its products, but also help retailers save part of their revenue spent on purchasing wrappers.
Inkisha’s biggest challenges are inconsistency in advertising on its platform, and high export tariffs, especially to South Africa, where Inkisha is setting up a branch. Geoffery hopes to reach more than 100 million consumers by 2020.
Credit: Business Daily Africa