Youth Entrepreneurial Link Investments

Youth Entrepreneurial Link Investments: Yeli Paper Bags Limited

Kampala, UgandaKampala, Uganda
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$100,000 - $250,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

We make environmental friendly paper bags and we plan to scale the project to other African countries to have a sustainable and scalable packaging means. Packaging is broad ranging from medical packaging to food staffs in the shops and markets to industrial packaging.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

We make Environmental friendly paper bags from recycled paper to mitigate effects of climate change, our bags are bold, strong, user friendly and portable for packaging and they are made by hand.
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

We are trying to solve the problem of environmental pollution and degradation caused by use of polythene and plastic bags, pollution caused by the process of making these bags. Plastic bags take in between 15 to 1000 years to break down. This have led to used plastic bags to block streams that have led to flooding that have led to deaths, creating breeding grounds for mosquitoes that have to high malaria outbreak in Africa.

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

My idea fits in the Environment category because the venture is aiming at conserving the environment and even the company slogan states "let’s conserve the Environment". Paper Bags from recycled paper. Paper bags are a viable solution and the environmental benefits are numerous. The materials needed to make paper bags are renewable resources, which allows them to be recycled and reused. Paper bags are also biodegradable and hence more environment friendly than plastic bags. Paper bags easily decompose compared to polythene that takes 15 to 1000 years to break down.


Anzisha prize for young African Entrepreneurs presented by African Leadership Academy and Master card foundation. Ferd Award for Social Entrepreneurship. Forbes 30 under 30 years recognition. Toney O. Elumelu Prize in Business by Future Africa Awards.
Impact: How does it Work

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

Environmental Impact. The impact of paper bags to the environment are numerous, packaging using paper bags impacts the Environment directly through reducing emission gases. Employment Opportunities. Currently the project employs 24 people directly. the project is labour intensive, our bags are made by hand hence providing jobs to the community.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Social and environmental impact Environmental Impact. Yeli Paper Bags Limited is producing environmental friendly paper bags to solve the problem of environmental pollution and degradation caused by use of polythene and plastic bags, pollution caused by the process of making these bags. Used plastic bags to block streams that have led to flooding that have led to deaths, creating breeding grounds for mosquitoes that have to high malaria outbreak in Africa. Polythene and plastic bags have cut down agricultural output in these countries affecting a bigger population that depend on agriculture. We expect increase in agricultural output as a result of our paper bags. Our paper bags are made from recycled paper reducing on the percentage of trees cut down to make paper We make 18,000 to 22,000 bags per week and all is bought.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Scaling the project to other countries, other countries will benefit from our solution because they are still battling with plastic bags in landfills, water streams and other other pollution forms resulting from plastic bags. Mechanizing the project to achieve mass production and close the current market gaps and introducing new product lines to fulfill packaging requirements. Starting a recycling plant to source raw materials locally and mitigate environmental damage from waste and deforestation. Employment opportunities. Our project is labour intensive we plan to employ 135 people.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

• Establishing and maintaining a solid business plan as a guiding tool. • In Uganda we are operating in an economy where inflation is at a high rate. Keeping a customer loyalty. This will help us catch up with increasing costs where a close relationship creates a mutual understand on prices and realizing any complaints that may arise. • Building an organizational structure with a strong team that will deliver quality services

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

Imported products. In Uganda the paper bags industry is still virgin, majour paper bags are imported from Kenya mainly a company called Mafuco that have been in paper bag production and sales for now 47 years. Local producers; Still in Uganda there are micro paper bags producers where you find a person producing paper bags on his own, Yeli have a competitive advantage over these due to company establishment and quality products made. Indirect Competitors. polythene bags; these are produced both locally and imported in East Africa.

Founding Story

It was back in 2008, when both of my parents had lost their jobs and could only afford to cover my school fees. I had to get to meet my basic needs by myself I decided to face the world alone." Inadvertently, the government of Uganda came to my aid. At the time, officials in the country announced that they were considering a ban on plastic bags to curb environmental damage. I was still in secondary school and I immediately saw this as an opportunity to launch a paper bag production company. To start out my small operation, I needed a capital of 36,000 Ugandan shillings ($14). I raised the first $11 from selling 70 kilos of used plastic bottles collected over one week. I then borrowed $3.


Management team and Organization The project was founded by Andrew Mupuya and he is the project manager who holds a bachelor of Commerce degree from Makerere University and has 8 years management experience. Production and operations manager is Kibubuka Emmanuel who holds a diploma in project management and evaluation from Uganda Management Institute and a certificate in mechanical engineering. he is full time in operations Sales executive is Nakayenze Constance who holds a bachelors degree in Business Administration majoring in Marketing. full time working we plan to bring experts in the recycling sector, manufacturing and marketing sectors
Please confirm how you heard about the Unilever Awards:
Please confirm your role in the initiative (eg Founder/co-Founder) and your organisational title:
Which of the 8 UN Global Goals (Sustainable Development Goals) pre-selected for this competition does your solution relate most closely to? [select all that apply]

Leadership and the Unilever Awards
Please provide examples of any previous entrepreneurial initiatives you have pioneered.
Beyond your existing team, who else are you working with to achieve your objectives, eg partners, advisors, mentors?
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