At the age of 15 Edgar Edmund Tarimo ‘18 saw how floods destroyed more than 700 houses in Dar Es Salaam. Most of the people affected by the floods were people of low income who constructed and lived in mud houses. It is then in 2015 that Edgar decided to start Green Venture to solve both the problem of plastic waste and construction. Green Venture is a recycling company that converts plastic waste into cheap and affordable building materials for low income people. Since then, the enterprise has grown from strength to strength.
Edgar became an Anzisha fellow in 2017. This brought exponential growth for Green Venture in terms of publicity and being able to scale up through the prize fund. Moreover, Edgar connected with multiple investors who were also willing to invest in the growth of his business.
Edgar first heard about African Leadership Academy (ALA) from an ALA alumni in Tanzania. However, after attending two weeks of Anzisha training on the ALA campus Edgar got to know more about the school which led to him applying since he especially enjoyed the Entrepreneurial Leadership (EL) curriculum. “Being at ALA enabled me to develop skills that I was able to apply to my business. The knowledge that I gained from my EL course and the experience helped me grow as an entrepreneur and a critical thinker.” says Edgar.
Green Venture recently competed in the 2020 ClimateLaunchpad competition. ClimateLaunchpad is the world’s largest Green business competition and receives over 3000 applications. In early August, Green Venture participated in the Tanzania National stage of the competition. Taking first place earned the business an opportunity to represent Tanzania in the Africa finals. Green Venture went on to take first place in Africa and won a prize of 4 600 USD. This meant Green Venture would represent Africa in the global grand finals amongst 68 other countries presented at the end of this past September. The enterprise won the Circular Economy category which earned Edgar a prize of 5000 Euros.
Edgar remarked, “Seeing how my business has grown from 20 USD which was starting capital in 2015 to where it is today gives me hope. Starting the business at an early age came with a lot of challenges including financial challenges. It was impossible for me to get loans from financial institutions and even for other people to believe in me. Starting a business while studying was also a big challenge.”
Edgar advises other young people that it is never too early to start a business. “You should do something as soon as you understand the problem you want to solve, start small and grow from there. Our continent has so many challenges that need to be solved and it will take an innovative business to solve every problem. There is still a chance to start more businesses. “
Keep up with Green Venture on @green_venture_tanzania