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Meet Brian, GSC 2018 Finalist, making Eco-Friendly bags from used baby diapers.

2018 Governors Startup Challenge Finalist, Brian Were of Begi Bora Limited is making Eco-friendly carriage bags from used baby diapers. Helping to conserve the environment and championing for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate Action.

What is the story behind starting your business?

I started Begi Bora in August 2017 after the government imposed a ban on the use of plastic bags. I noticed that there was going to be a market niche in terms of carriage mechanism and the incoming alternatives were quite expensive hence the idea of recycling diapers to produce Eco-friendly carriage bags was born. Other factors included my passion for environmental conservation and championing for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 13- Climate Action.

What is unique about your business and what service or solution does it offer?

The uniqueness of Begi Bora is using diapers to produce Eco-friendly carriage bags while at the same time ensuring proper waste management practices, hence, a doubled edge sword solution. At Begi Bora, we address the problem of irresponsible dumping of used diapers by collecting and taking them through a thorough cleaning process and ending up producing affordable Eco-friendly carriage bags to be used in supermarkets and in seedling production firms.

To counter the negative attitude people may have on the used diapers, the bags are coated with pleasant and colorful materials that makes them beautiful and attractive. The diapers therefore are the skeleton frame that provide the much-needed strength and is therefore sandwiched in between two colorful thin materials.

What will you say has driven you to be successful in your business?

After the ban on plastic bags, people had to go for other alternatives, hence there was a ready market and the existing alternatives could not sustain the vast demand from all over. Provision of a cheaper alternative compared to the one already in the market also attracted more customers.

How does your business help the community around you?

The business has helped in reducing the unlawful disposal of used diapers which poses a threat to our environment, for instance; blockage of sewer system, contamination of water, awful smell, accumulation of diapers in dumpsites near homesteads and children’s playing areas etc. Begi Bora, has also led to creation of employment opportunities through collection of used diapers as raw materials, reduced the cost of purchasing carriage bags and eventually provided an improvised parallel garbage collection system to help in disposing the diapers.

What challenges have you experienced since you started your business?

Our biggest challenge has been accessing capital to run the business much efficiently and purchasing cleaning machines. The inadequate working capital for daily and routinely operation of my business has led to several challenges since most of the operations require financing for effectiveness. Stiff competition and negative public attitude are among other challenges that we have experienced.

How did you feel when you were selected to participate in GSC 2018?

The feeling was quite exciting.