It was a privilege to have been a part of the WCEF last week in Kigali, Rwanda, on behalf of Footprints Africa. Moderating the panel discussion with four passionate entrepreneurs who have made circularity front and centre of their businesses in retail, food systems and affordable housing, was awe-inspiring. Hear from the entrepreneurs here .

  • Menna Shahin, from Egypt, whose company, Tekeya, is tackling the throw-away food culture by taking surplus food from restaurants/hotels etc and selling it at a discount. The key takeaway from her was that she quickly learned to “speak the language” of her stakeholders because companies think that impact is all well and good but really, they want to know “how they can make money or save money”. Presenting financials to clients to answer this question has been a lifeline.
  • Kigen Compton, from Tanzania, founder of BioBuu, the largest organic food recycler in Tanzania. He shared how it's so important to find a work-life balance but invariably, it takes time to do so- you have to go through the challenges to come out the other side and realise what really is important – family, peace of mind and financial control…
  • Esethu Cenga, from South Africa, co-founder of Rewoven, a textiles recycling company, who shared how she's had to work hard to overcome conventional mindsets because the assumption is that recycled fabrics means inferior quality. In fact, the reverse is true.
  • Nhlanhla Ndlovu, also from South Africa, founder of Hustlenomics, which converts construction material waste into building material for affordable housing in townships. He shared how his upbringing of living in an informal dwelling structure with 12 family members is what led him to building his own informal structure at the bottom of the garden, just to get some peace of mind, which then became the fuel for his business.

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