See series

Founded in 2012, WECYCLERS is a waste collection social enterprise aiming to improve waste management in informal settlements in Lagos, Nigeria. Collection is carried out using delivery tricycles (known as wecycles) which ride round these neighborhoods and collect waste from inhabitants. The waste is then sorted in the company’s hub and sold to plastic wholesalers.

WECYCLERS rewards partner families with household objects depending on the volume of waste collected, initiating in this way the population to recycling techniques. The company has more than 3,400 partner households, has created 50 jobs and collected 525 tons of waste.

289 tons of plastic bottles, 195 tons of plastic bags, 43 tons of alumi- num cans collected and recycled in a 2 years period. The use of deli- very tricycles to collect waste allows easy access to less well-served neighborhoods and has a minimal environmental impact.

Partner families are essentially informal sellers and students. A  partner family receives on average $10 a month from Wecyclers which can be as much as 20% of the family income. 3,400 families are active partners, mainly from poor neighborhoods.

52 jobs created, 37 of which are full-time (managers and collectors). The 15 waste sorters have temporary contracts.The average income is $125 per month, $8 above the national minimum. A company who manufactures small, plastic balls employs ten people and depends entirely on waste from Wecyclers

Wecyclers buys delivery tricycles from a local supplier. Each one is worth $700 and there is a fleet of 25 tricycles, ie. more than $17,000 worth from this one supplier. Wecyclers uses software developed by a Nigerian company to handle their text message stream. They paid nearly $1,600 in taxes to the Nigerian government last year.

Most of the employees come from poor neighborhoods and this is often their first official job. Wecyclers helps partner families to open a formal bank account in order to receive Wecyclers points. This bank account can then be used to pay rent, earn a salary etc.



The project : SMALL IS POWERFUL / How small African companies are fostering the Development of the continent

Through a visual and analytical investigation, « Small is Powerful » provides an unusual vision of the African continent by exploring it through its Small and Medium Enterprises (SME). Above all, the project is attached to a human vision of these companies by looking at their stakeholders (clients, employees, local population, political and community figures) and by positively highlighting the impact of these SMEs on their respective ecosystems.  By producing five reportages on SMEs operating in different countries and sectors, the project aims to show how African SMEs are a catalyst for growth on the continent.

The project intends to : Fight against stereotypes on how African economy and society are currently perceived / Support and promote the reality of African entrepreneurship which is rich and dynamic, carrying prospects for the future / Produce visual and analytical content allowing an efficient case to be made for these entrepreneurs committed to this dynamic, and who are vital contributors supporting African growth.