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Jane Nduku: Solutions to Plastic Waste

For any female in Nairobi who needs to get their braids done chap chap, Kenyatta Market has always been the place to go. This is where Jane Nduku’s story began. In 2015, she and her sister opened their salon in the area. Business was good however things got a little shaky when Corona hit the city. With customers being outdoors less and less the business unfortunately took a bit of a hit.

With day-to-day expenses remaining unchanged but business going down, Jane decided to balance out the deficit by being more present in the shop she owned with her husband in Kibera. It’s while they were there when they were approached by representatives from a recycling company called Mr. Green. The offer was quite simple. Jane would be tasked to collect or buy plastic waste material from existing collectors and sell them to Mr. Green at a profit. With a dustcoat + weighing scale provided by Mr. Green and a central pick up point right next to their shop, they were set.

Their first purchase was worth Ksh. 40,000 which has grown 10 fold more ever since. Jane honestly admitted that her greatest challenge had been approaching, talking to and persuading the collectors. Over the years, however, she has pushed through this and her team has grown from the 3 individuals she began with to a squad of over 20 collectors within the area. One of the most touching principles was this - though it’s not greatly encouraged for children under 18 to engage in the collection of these plastic materials, in the event that they do, they are compensated with a voucher which can be claimed for supplies from the shop. This is a strict policy followed by the Mr. Green team and all their associates but even moreso, a huge contribution to society.

The 4G Capital team contacted Jane while she was at her salon in Kenyatta Market. She was intrigued by the offer and decided to give it a go.

Heh! Hata I wish ningejua kuhusu hizi loans kitambo!
Translation: I wish I knew about these loans sooner!

She puts every coin into her recycling business and has used the profit she’s earned so far to open another shop and collection point in Eastleigh. The married duo have also managed to buy their home in Kibera and have their eyes set on

expanding the business to other locations.

They’ve been in partnership with 4G Capital for 4 months with their loan limit growing from Ksh. 20,000 to Ksh. 27,600 so far. Jane enjoys the training sessions and is grateful for the role 4GC played in helping her open shop in Eastleigh. Currently she buys and sells 400Kg of plastic per day and aims to increase this to 700Kg per day in the near future.

Her greatest joy is that the business not only empowers her and her family, but is also good for the environment and gives them an opportunity to help youth within the area earn an honest living.

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