Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola, is the co-founder of Wecyclers, a for-profit social enterprise working to help communities reclaim their neighborhoods from unmanaged waste. Bilikiss and her cofounders started Wecyclers in 2012, using low cost cargo bicycles called Wecycles to provide convenient recycling services to households across Nigeria. Before dipping her toes in the entrepreneurial waters, Bilikiss gained valuable business and technology experience at IBM where she worked for 5 years. She then went on to pursue an MBA at MIT, and it was here that she got the inspiration for Wecyclers from one of her classes. Her love for business and passion to contribute to Africa’s development led her to turn this idea into a reality, and she relocated with her family to Nigeria to further this goal. Today, Wecyclers has won numerous awards and accolades in the environmental industry and continues to grow.
What you will learn
- The Big Idea
- The challenges of a new start-up (Wecyclers)
- The role of governmental support
- Insight into the waste collection industry in Nigeria
- The gamification of waste management
- Turning waste into money
- Redemption of points for various gifts or cash.
- Paying attention to market input
- The perception of Green (environmental) companies in Nigeria
- The business of Wecyclers
- How to balance work and family life
- Push more! You have to grab things and be persistent. Don’t take things personally. Rejection is a part of the game, just keep pushing. Don’t give up! Push more!
Words of wisdom
- Advice to recent grads:
- Advice to foreign entrepreneurs looking to come to Africa to start a business:
- Volunteer with a company that you admire, and in a field you would like to learn more about
- Don’t commit to anything
- Set up a lot of meetings
- Tell a lot of people what you are doing and the problems you are facing, and see what comes out of it
Books and Resources