Recently I took a group of 5 students to a social entrepreneurship camp in Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia hosted by the United States Embassy. The camp is called CLICK! 6.0 and is a social entrepreneurship program for teenagers. It aims to equip them with social entrepreneurial skills to address some of the post pressing issues in their own community. At the same time increasing problem solving ability and encouraging effective decision making skills among youth. CLICK! 6.0 also develops English language, communication, interpersonal and leadership skills. Altogether building up a community of forward-thinking entrepreneurs, and empowering youth to implement projects that can solve social issues and be a positive tipping point for the community. My students are now working for 8 weeks on implementing their idea with RM200 seed funding they received. Here is the idea my students came up with, and the pitch they presented to investors...
Introduction: Good morning and hello, we are students from SMK Mahmud, in Raub, Pahang. And we would like to share our solution to a trash and recycling issue at our local market to all of you.
Problem: After each Thursday market, we found that trash fills the compound from left over plant parts to plastic bags and it is a very bad situation.
Insight: After several interviews, we learned that trash bins were once put in place in the market several years ago, but have since been destroyed and neglected by people in the community. This results in a high amount of rubbish being scattered around the area. We also discovered that most households in our community lack any recycling bins, and despite school programs teaching the three R’s – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, there is very little action in terms of putting these practices into place.
Solution: Because of these insights we plan to set up a booth at the weekly market where we can educate the community, including marketgoers and vendors, about the importance of recycling through brochures and handouts. At the same time, we will also raise funds for recycling and waste bins for the whole community to use, in places like the market.
Funding: Our solution is simple: Buy a bin – give a bin! At the market booth, we plan to raise money by selling handmade rubbish bins for household use. These would be uniquely designed containers to be purchased by marketgoers. The profits made from selling these bins will go towards larger community wide waste and recycle bins.
Business Details: These household bins for purchase are handmade with recycled materials like cans and water bottles and designed and constructed by students of SMK Mahmud and supported by the environmental club. Theses sustainable bins offer receptacles for waste, reusable, and recyclable materials. This will increase recycling in households in our neighborhoods, and raise awareness for the community at large. These household bins will be sold at SMK Mahmud and at the weekly Thursday markets. Through the funds raised from household bin sales, we will be economically sustainable funding the supplies for future bin construction and cost of community-wide containers.
We also hope to connect with the local trash service company in Raub to develop partnerships for the rubbish collection of our community installed recycling bins. Throughout this process, we plan on developing a strong social media presence to keep our supporters updated on our weekly progress. We will measure our progress by number of household bins sold. Once the community-trash bin is installed, we will supply photos and updates on the effectiveness of the bins.
Special: We believe this sustainable platform could be implemented at schools and communities across Malaysia. By purchasing our bins, you are supporting the community and environment to be a better place. Your investment in a household bin, funds a larger community wide recycle container and educational outreach campaign to make recycling simpler and change perspectives, so why not Buy a Bin – and Give a Bin - all at the same time.
Happy Ending: Last but not least, with our bin campaign we dream of a day when the market is free of trash and the community is aware of the benefits of recycling, proper waste management, and making Raub a cleaner more environmentally friendly place.