Earlier this year, The Venture, a global competition staged by Chivas Regal, was launched with a mission to find promising, up-and-coming startups that also have a positive impact on the world. After a rigorous voting and pitching process involving inspirational social entrepreneurs from 32 countries, the grand final has just taken place in Los Angeles and Nigeria’s Chioma Ukonu, co-founder and COO of Recycle Points has scooped 2nd place and a prize of US$ 200,000.
The competition was open to startups that have a working business model and at the same time, create social good with their endeavors. With 32 countries taking part, each region held its regional round, with winners eventually being selected to participate in the grand finals for a chance to win and share a stake from the US$1 million social entrepreneurship fund. The ultimate aim of The Venture is to find and support the most promising startups with the potential to succeed financially and make a positive impact on the lives of others.
RecyclePoints is enabling individuals, particularly from low-income households, to create value from their everyday waste. It operates an incentive-based model which collects recyclable waste materials from registered households, and in turn rewards them with points, which they can accumulate and redeem for cash or other useful items offered through their iRecycle Store. The company employs young ‘Wastebusters’ to ride its electric tricycles and collect door-to-door recyclable waste such as plastic bottles, aluminum cans, newspapers, or cartons. These items are then processed at the company’s Collection & Sorting Hub by unemployed women within the community, and sold on to recycling plants to use as raw materials for new products. RecyclePoints supports environmental sustainability, and engages the community to be part of the solution. With additional funds the company is hoping to expand its operations and impact, within its current city and to other states, purchasing new equipment and replicating its solution in a franchise model.