Best Ideas 2019 features all the nominated entries submitted under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solutions or propositions for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage.
Explain your idea in details:
SLOS Kenya is a profit start-up social enterprise. SLOS Kenya focuses on reducing the money the community spends on buying washing and bathing soap. SLOS Kenya uses an approach that employs the use of waste oils in making soap. I started this project after carrying out research on the number of soap people in the community use per month. The research revealed that people in this community spend not less than $ 5 per household per month on the soap. Moreover, most of them live below $ 1.90 a day. This inspired me to use my skills as an industrial chemist to solve the problem. To achieve the goal of the project, I use the power of synergy ("togetherness") of the community and waste (used cooking oils). First, I teach the community how to make homemade soap. Additionally, I teach them how to extract and purify used cooking oils which they use in making soap. Secondly, I urge the community to work in groups when acquiring soap making materials. Finally, once they have made homemade soap they share it according to their contributions. The learning program of SLOS Kenya comprises of in-person learning and online learning. Furthermore, in-person and online learning constitutes a theory part of the learning program and takes a period of one month. Practical training part takes a minimum of one month and a maximum of two months. After the trainees have acquired skills and cannot afford basic equipment for soap making, they are permitted to use the enterprise equipment before they buy their own equipment. This is offered in the form of mobile soap-making facility. Mobile soap-making facility provides soap equipment and materials for interested members at their preferred places at affordable prices.
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
SLOS Kenya is addressing Sustainable Development Goal 1. According to the Kenya Economic Update 17th Edition, about 36.1% of Kenyans are living below the International Poverty Line (US Dollars 1.90 per day). Additionally, based on the research I conducted in one community in Kenya revealed that people in this community averagely spend not less than $ 5 per household per month on the soap. In addition, they averagely use not less 15 liters of cooking oil per household per month. The majority of them are living below the International Poverty Line. For these reasons, SLOS Kenya has adopted a strategy that aims at reducing what the community spend on soaps and cooking oil. Based on the SLOS Kenyas research, at least 5% of waste cooking oil can be recovered from its respective locations such as containers, unwashed restaurant/kitchen oil containing utensils etcetera. Therefore, this implies that for an average of 15 liters of cooking oil the community use, SLOS Kenya recovers at least 750ml of purified cooking oil from waste cooking oil. The extracted oil can make approximately 1Kg of bar soap.1kg of bar soap costs at most Ksh 100 depending on the quality of the soap. Thus, this indicates that for every 15 liters of cooking oil community use, SLOS Kenya is able to save about Ksh 100. Therefore, with SLOS Kenya strategy the community will reduce the money spend on soap per month by about 10%. Apart from extracting cooking waste oil, SLOS Kenya involves in impacting people with soap making skills. Besides, SLOS Kenya engages in supplying soap making materials to people at cheap prices. SLOS Kenya anticipates reaching at most twenty individuals per month. Therefore, it is expected that all SLOS Kenyas activities will contribute to poverty reduction by 0.05% within five years of its operation.
Plans for implementation and sustainability
SLOS Kenya is a profit social enterprise. SLOS Kenya funds its activities from the sales of its products and services. Currently, it survives on sales of its digital products which include monetization of its online contents by using Google Adsense. Besides, it depends on the sales of its E-books, online training, and in-person training. Therefore, based on the business model of SLOS Kenya, it does not need extensive capital. It is able to finance itself at its start-up stage without heavily depending on the external sources. Apart from sales of SLOS Kenyas products, SLOS Kenya activities will be financed by donations from well-wishers and donors, and grants. However, these sources of funding will contribute to a small percentage of funding of SLOS Kenya. SLOS Kenya activities are categorized into four phases. Phase 1 focuses on the creation of online contents, writing E-book, online training and in-person training. The first phase is ongoing and it is what funds current activities of SLOS Kenya. Phase 2 deals with supplying of soap making materials and provision of consultation services to soapers especially in rural areas. Phase 2 is also ongoing. Phase 3 focuses on providing mobile soap making facilities to homemade soapmakers, which encompass providing soap making equipment, offering incubation for a maximum of three months to interested soapmakers. Phase 3 is anticipated to commence by not later than March 2020. Phase 4 is designed in a manner that ensures that 10% of its sales assists selected pupils in primary schools in Kenya. The assistance will be in the form of buying school uniforms and shoes to these pupils. Phase 4 will be implemented after five years of operation. However, before this time, piloting will be conducted in the second year of operation.
I am Paul Odhiambo Ongoro from Kenya and a founder of SLOS Kenya. I have a Bachelor Degree in Industrial Chemistry with Management. I am a commonwealth correspondent volunteer and a member of the YALI Network Initiative. I am a cohort 4 alumni of Greatness-United (G-United). G-United deals with strengthening and supporting primary education outcomes, promotion of national cohesion and create enhancing personal development opportunities for Kenyan youths. I am also a semi-finalist of 2019 Mandela Washington Fellowship (MWF). Moreover, I am a cohort 34 participant in business and entrepreneurship track (starting from 5th August to 31 August) of YALI East Africa Regional Leadership Center. I was inspired by my passion for giving back to the community and the challenges community are experiencing to start this project. As Steve Nash once asserted, I am a huge believer in giving back and helping the community and the world. Think globally, act locally I suppose. I believe that the measure of a persons life is the effect they have on others. My passion for giving back to the community has been demonstrated by involvement in the community work and coming up with innovative solutions to solve the problems facing the community. As a result of my involvement in the community service, I have been recognized by the Kenyan government and the Ministry of Education for selfless services I rendered to the community. Due to this, I was awarded a national certificate by the government of Kenya. The life of Thomas Edison, Abraham Lincoln, and Ben Carson always motivate me to confidently face the present world. The stories of these great men also challenge me to find solutions for my problems and the problems facing the community. Their stories are the basis of my motivation.