Good Glass

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Good Glass

Kampala, UgandaKampala, Uganda
Organization type: 
hybrid
Project Stage:
Growth
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Good Glass, an eco-friendly social enterprise, recycles glass into beautifully designed household items while providing sustainable livelihoods in Uganda.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Good Glass addresses two critical problems. The first issue is garbage. Due to inadequate space for landfills, limited and costly garbage collection services that are unaffordable to the majority of the population, Uganda is flooded with trash. The second issue is unemployment and a lack of fair wage jobs as the majority of the population lives on less than $1.25 a day. Supporting large families is difficult as their are few social services.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Good Glass takes a portion of the garbage, the glass bottles, and turns it into beautifully designed products. We promote recycling in the community, showing that there are other uses for our waste. Our products are then sold, providing fair and sustainable wages to our employees. In turn, our employees who each support 5 children on average, are able to pay school fees, afford medical care when needed and provide 3 meals a day for their families.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Our workshop manager Monica, 41, was unemployed most of her adult life. After a short time as housekeeper, her excellent organizational and managerial skills were discovered and she was given employment at Good Glass. She has risen above all the challenges she has faced and is now managing the workshop. With her salary, she is able to support her own family as well as provide school fees for several of her nieces and nephews and a room in her relatively large home for a cousin. In the past year and a half, we have recycled over 5 tons of glass, making a difference in the amount of garbage polluting the streets of Kampala. In addition, people now know they don't have to throw away their glass bottles and instead they recycle them with us.
Sustainability

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There is one other business in Kampala that is recycling glass. They melt the glass and re-blow it into pitchers and glasses using kilns. While this technique is very popular, it is not actually very environmentally friendly as glass has to be heated to 750 degrees Celsius for many hours to achieve the desired outcome. Also that company mainly recycles broken windows and windscreens, leaving all the various wine spirit bottles for Good Glass to recycle using our very eco-friendly method which does not involve any heat - only cutting, sanding and smoothing the glass.
About You
Organization:
Good Glass
About You
First Name

Angela

Last Name

Inglish

About Your Project
Organization Name

Good Glass

Organization Country

, KMP, Kampala

Country where this project is creating social impact

, KMP, Kampala

How long has your organization been operating?

1‐5 years

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Your Solution
Founding Story: Share a story about the “Aha!” moment that led you to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

After working with two non-profit organizations in Uganda and attaining a Masters in International Development, I became passionate about giving people a hand up, rather than a hand out. I was unconvinced from my experiences that a large international organization would be able to do this effectively. I wanted to work with something truly sustainable that created an impact I would be able to see on a daily basis. With garbage galore and thousands of eager, motivated and unemployed Ugandans looking for work, the idea of Good Glass was born. Why not take a portion of our waste and use it to create well-paid jobs for those in need?

Select Sector(s): To which of Unilever's categories of sustainability does your solution apply?

Waste.

Measurable Impact
Audience: Who have you identified as your customers/recipients and why? How will you get your solution to them or engage them in your initiative?

The customers of our products are largely expat and middle to upper class Ugandans. In order to cover production costs and provide fair wages, the price point for our products is at the middle to upper class level. However, those that benefit from the jobs created are poorer Ugandans who might not otherwise have jobs if it were not for the opportunities provided by Good Glass. Everyone in Uganda can benefit from more recycling as their are currently few options and limited space for landfills.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date and expected impact in the future?

We employ eight Ugandans full-time in our workshop, providing them with training, paid leave, and fair wages. In addition, we employ two carpenters and two iron worker from their own workshops for a significant amount of commissioned pieces, providing them with a lot of feedback and coaching in order to build their capacity. Since our inception, we have recycled over 5 tons of glass, providing the community with a way to dispose of their glass bottles and educating them on the importance of recycling.
In the future, we hope to expand our operations to export Good Glass. We will have to increase our workshop size and our work force significantly to accomplish this goal. This will provide more well-paid jobs which will in turn mean more children are able to attend school and get medical care. We will also be able to at least double the amount of glass we recycle per year.

Growth, Finance & Leadership
Scaling the Solution: How do you intend to scale your activities over the next two years (e.g., reach new markets, diversify solutions, etc.)? What will make this possible?

It has long been a goal of ours to export our products to the US. However, with our shop in Kampala and our wholesale business to various shops here, we have not been able to increase our production enough to fill a container. The shipping costs are also very high for the initial shipment, but well worth the pay off of the large market we will have in the US. The prize money will help us to purchase more machines to increase production and design and produce attractive packaging for products. A portion of the prize money will help us to ship our first container of products to the US. Through this activity, we will be able to recycle tons more glass and also provide many more well-paid jobs.

Financial Sustainability: What is your business model to ensure financial sustainability?

We are currently financially sustainable through the sales of our products. We plan to keep selling our products and growing only as our financial situation allows us to do safely, ensuring that no jobs are lost and that we can provide financial stability for our employees.

Experience: Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.

Although I do not have experience pioneering other entrepreneurial initiatives, with Good Glass, I was chosen as an entrepreneur for the Social Enterprise Forum in Sweden. I have taken Good Glass from a concept to a sustainable business that now provides jobs for eight individuals. We have gone from selling at festivals to being represented in five retail shops in Uganda and now in our very own shop that opened three weeks ago with great success.