Jacqueline Mukarukundo “A world without waste thanks to Tech”
Jacqueline Mukarukundo, was elected on April 21 African Entrepreneur of the Year as part of the Les Margaret Prize 2020 initiated by the JFD. The young Rwandan has set up an application, Wastezon, which connects homes and the recycling industries to treat waste. Interview.
By Bilkiss Mentari
Tell me Jacqueline, before we talk about Wastezon, your app, tell me more about you, can your little story, where did you grow up, your background, and your dreams of little girls?
I am a Rwandan. I have grown up in Kigali.Before joining Wastezon, I immersed myself in a marketing career in two different companies in Rwanda. My work earned recognition such as SDG Competition Award at SDG Summer School, Geneva and Learning Planet Assembly Award, Paris. During my time in Geneva, I co-founded Healplus.info, an SDG Education Awareness startup that is currently promoting awareness on SDGs.
I am a student of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) University, a global leadership development program initiated by President Bill Clinton. I am pursuing International Business and Trade at the African Leadership University.
I look at myself as a Tech businesswoman, I would like to be the voice to those who are not capable of speaking for themselves to some level. I want to be inspirational to young ladies and women because most don’t have self confidence . Again, after seeing how hard it is for most startups in Africa in getting funding, with their brilliant ideas which can have a massive impact on Africa and to the rest of the world. In the future, I would like to be an investor to women and youth.
So, Wastezon, that’s a mobile application that connects households and the recycling industries to treat waste. Can you tell us more?
Wastezon is a startup business that introduced mobile app technology to connect households/End consumers with recycling actors( Like industries, Repairs, E-scrapers) through reverse logistics. As our motto goes “From trash to cash” we envision a waste-free world and the power of technology to achieve this vision. The App’s traceability and sorting features helps the households to reduce their carbon footprint by sorting properly waste and earn money from it, instead of dumping or burning them.
Wastezon is introducing a win-win solution that responds to both households’ waste collection needs and the growing demand for fertilizers. This Internet of Technology-enabled product will be utilizing farmers’ needs of fertilizers and to maintain waste which still has value needed by recycling industries. The business model is to sort waste at the source and turn waste into cash to both household and recycling actors.
As a young female entrepreneur, what difficulties have you face, even if Rwanda is a world champion in gender equality…
Some people believe women can’t be successful in the industry; without the man behind that success; this is not right; people need to be aware of this. Even Though, its general mindset in my community, in Rwanda There are massive changes in ICT policies and many programs that involve women in Technology have been increased.
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