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HomeFor: EducatorsTurning waste into wealth for sustainable success

Turning waste into wealth for sustainable success

As an educator, you want the best for your students both in and out of the classroom.  
One way to encourage their success is by promoting entrepreneurship from a young age.  

One such remarkable example is Yaye Souadou Fall (2016 Anzisha Fellow) who was just 19 years old when she came up with the business idea for a waste recycling startup.  

She had an opportunity at school to identify a local problem (waste management) and propose a solution. Yaye could not have imagined what would become of her Junior Business Activities class assignment at Dakar’s prestigious Institut Superieur du Management (ISM). With the encouragement of a teacher and a keen interest in green technology, E-Cover emerged. 

E-Cover was born out of Yaye Fall’s deep concern for the environmental impact of discarded tires in Senegal. Recognizing the potential to repurpose these tires, she embarked on a mission to create sustainable and eco-friendly solutions to revolutionize waste management practices in Senegal. 

“I chose entrepreneurship as a career because I believe that my existence has to be meaningful and useful,” says Fall, and during COP 22, she was recognized for her activity in favour of the environment. 

Despite having the difficulties of starting an enterprise, and the gender factor present as an obstacle to obtaining financing, E-cover secured 216 million CFA Francs ($382k) from WIC Gestion, which is dedicated to promoting micro, small and medium enterprises that are run by women in Senegal and West Africa. 

Their product range includes tire planters, furniture, and even playground equipment. By repurposing old tires, E-Cover not only reduces waste but also contributes to the circular economy, creating employment opportunities and fostering sustainable development. 

“My business and the problem it’s solving is my legacy to my community. As the world is a big village now, I can even say that it’s my legacy to humanity.”  

E-Cover’s journey is a testament to the power of youth-led innovation and the invigorating support offered by educators that will guide young entrepreneurs to find sustainable solutions and transform communities.  

Here are just a few reasons why your students should start a business today and how you can help them thrive in their future endeavours: 

  • Financial Benefits 
    Starting a business at a young age can pave the way for lifelong financial success. By developing an entrepreneurial mindset early on, children can learn valuable lessons about money management, budgeting, and investing. Additionally, starting a business can provide a source of income that can help pay for college or other future expenses. By encouraging your students to explore their passions and turn them into profitable ventures, you can set them up for financial stability and success in the long run. 
  • Emotional Benefits 
    Beyond financial rewards, starting a business can also offer a range of emotional benefits. Entrepreneurship allows children to take ownership of their ideas and see them come to life. This can boost their self-confidence and provide a sense of purpose that can be difficult to find elsewhere. By starting a business, children can also learn valuable skills such as leadership, problem-solving, and communication. These skills will serve them well no matter where their career paths may lead. 
  • Real-World Experience 
    Starting a business offers children a chance to gain real-world experience that cannot be replicated in a classroom setting. By navigating the ups and downs of entrepreneurship, children can learn valuable lessons about risk-taking, perseverance, and adaptability. They can also develop a network of contacts that will serve them well in the future. By starting a business, children can gain a competitive edge in the job market and stand out as innovative thinkers and problem-solvers. 

UNLOCK A FREE CASE STUDY! Register on our website and download Yaye’s case study which you can use in your classroom – for FREE! 

We encourage you leave a comment below about your own experiences teaching young entrepreneurs and share this article with other like-minded educators and ecosystem builders.  

Lynn Brown
Lynn Brown
Lynn is a content marketer that focuses on brand storytelling through digital platforms. Skilled in a background of web development, search engine optimization and content production, Lynn is excited to utilize over 10 years’ experience in digital marketing to help grow the ecosystems that support Africa’s very young entrepreneurs to ensure their success.

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