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2022 Circular Lagos Challenge: 6 entrepreneurs emerge winners

2022 Circular Lagos Challenge: 6 entrepreneurs emerge winners

Six entrepreneurs have emerged winners of the first edition of the Circular Lagos Challenge pitch competition organized by the Lagos State Government in partnership with the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) to grow the state’s circular economy by supporting operators of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) scale

The six entrepreneurs beat the other 12 finalists to win the award in different categories of six sponsors which include: BASF Sweepsmart, Coca-Cola & Growing Businesses Foundation, Nigerian Breweries, Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance, and NGN.

The winners are: Sunday Sholanke of PETsPoint Technology Limited won the TeamBASF category; Joshua Attat of Lyvin won the TeamNGN category and Doyinsola Ogunye of Mental and Environmental Development Initiative for Children won the TeamCoca-Cola&GBF category.

Others are; Babatunde Adebayo of Eco Circular Solutions Provider won the TeamNigerianBreweries; Gbenga Olasehinde of Stylus-Simplex Design won TeamFBRA – Food and Beverage Recycling Alliance and Taiwo Adewole of Wastexchange Limited won the TeamSweepSmart category.

According to Bankole Oloruntoba, chief executive officer, Nigeria Climate Innovation Centre (CIC) – the organisation behind the initiative, the strategic collaboration is to proffer innovative solutions to various waste problems in the state.

Oloruntoba said that the circular economy is a model of production and consumption, which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing, and recycling existing waste materials and products as long as possible.

He said 1,000 applications were received in January from entrepreneurs already operating in the waste recycling in the state that wanted to take part in the innovation challenge before being reduced to 12 after two stages of screening.

Read also: Nigeria should leverage manufacturing, technology to accelerate post pandemic recovery – Experts

“The essence is how we can scale possibilities through innovation. Lagos is our priority because of where we are based and a state faced with the bulk of the challenges,” he said.

Speaking also during the pitch competition, Toyin Oguntola, assistant director, Lagos State Ministry of Environment and Water Resources said there is so much in the circular economy.

“We want to ensure that our products are consumed sustainably and recycled to ensure that our environment is persevered and sustained,” she said.

Similarly, Jennifer Seydel, representative of GIZ said the challenge seeks to grow the market for circular economy businesses in ways that benefit producers, consumers, and communities across the state.

She said that circular businesses are also expected to reap the monetary benefits, stimulate local economic growth, and create meaningful job opportunities.

The circular Lagos is organized as a bottom-up initiative that focuses on experimenting with small-scale projects to learn from practice, build institutional capabilities and develop an engaged and committed network of circular economy professionals in Lagos.

The winners undergo an incubation programme where they receive educational input and are introduced to circular economy tools such as entrepreneurship, finance, and policy. Their application is developed to pilotable prototype solutions.