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:
The use of plastic bags is common in Burundi in general and in all the surrounding villages, Musenyi in particular. The plastic bag is the largest medium used to purchase food and other commodities for basic consumption and is relatively cheap. In Burundi, these bags used by thousands have become a true environmental burden. Three main concerns about plastic bag pollution: o Gutters and sewers become blocked, causing the overflow of waste water - a source of disease o The time taken for decomposition to occur is 400 years or longer if bags are littered in water reserves such as Lake Tanganyika. They turn into toxic particles by this stage that contaminate soil and water, and enter the food chain when animals accidentally drink the polluted water o Increased dependence on landfills. The dangers of landfill are transparent and pollution caused to waterways is unavoidable in Burundi with the volume of plastic bags in the area. Furthermore, the air pollution caused by incineration of plastic bags is detrimental to the wider environment air quality is negatively impacted. Several public and private initiatives have referred to the collection of all waste and rubbish especially in the capital Bujumbura but clear strategies of treatment were not well defined and the plastic bag is gaining more and more ground. Neighbouring countries have implemented plastic bag bans, however this action has not been enforced in Burundi.
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
In Burundi a minority group known as the Pygmy or Batwa people are the poorest in the country. Traditionally a nomadic tribe, they have suffered discrimination as the land they have lived off has been redistributed at Burundi's independence. Resultantly they have no means to make a living and with a lack of technical skills, any form of employment is inconsistent. With little financial aid and limited expertise in other fields, they often go hungry. The creation of paper bags to sell to businesses in the Burundi marketplace will reduce the abundance of plastic bags, the main objective. The aim to employ the Pygmy to aid in the production of these bags, is also a way to integrate them into society, thus social cohesion is established. The paper bags would be sold at a local Musenyi market to be used as packaging for goods sold to consumers. Paper bags would heavily reduce the volume of plastic bags and the environment would become close to being plastic bag free. The scheme could be enlarged to encompass a wider area. Eventually this may lead to fund a larger paper making industry providing jobs for other locals and increasing Burundis living standards.
Plans for implementation and sustainability
Akazima Bags is focused on developing a new product in the targeted marketplace. The primary objective is to integrate the Pygmy into the Burundi society and then to decrease the volume of plastic bag in the area by 5 per cent. As a result a niche strategy approach is to be employed by Akazima Bags due to both the limited initial penetration that the product will have and the volume of paperbags that are expected to be produced. We aim to launch our product through existing channels particularly word of mouth as this is a low cost technique. By informing locals of our product, the benefits to the community from purchasing our bags will be outlined.The integration of the Pygmy is more likely to occur in this way too, as their hard work will be recognised by other stakeholders. Akazima Bags are affordable, with a price of USD 0.06 or 65 compared to plastic bags which are 50 - 400 burundi francs depending on the size. As the target market have available finances for the product, a high level awareness of the advantages of using paper bags is necessary. The resources available for production are viable, however the main constraint at this stage is a reliable investor for the project. Cohesion of resources; finances, operations and human resources are integral for an integrated marketing strategy to be effective. A niche strategy encompasses this reality due to the smaller scale of production and capacity during the introductory stages. As the product gains awareness and demand increases, it may be possible to expand further and consider a strategy that has a higher market penetration, however at this stage is not required.
My name is NDAYIZEYE Denis, burundian, age 34 years. Professional career, i have worked as project officer, program Assistant and field coordinator in two different international non government organization. I and my colleagues have created a local NGO called (ILOFEM) which promotes women empowerment throught IGAs. I am a Senior Development Technician with over 5 years of work experience specializing in project implementation. Awards from the Global Enterprise Experience : 1. 2018, Champion Social Entrepreneur Award for ILOFEM; 2. New Venture Development Award, Women's Employment producing healthy Sauerkraut in Burundi; 3. University of Otago Business School Highly Commended Journal Award, 2016.