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Plastic WIFE (Women in Free Enterprise)

I assisted in the initial set up and running of this micro-organization. Yet, more recently, I am now a close supporter and advisor.

Photo of Jelena Zivkovic
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In the Fall of 2013 students at the American University of Nigeria -  entrepreneurship class were tasked to create a sustainable enterprise: good for the economy, environment, and social condition. The idea was to leverage AUN’s assets – including students, recyclable waste, and facilities – to train locally disempowered women to craft attractive products, and to market them through a socially responsible brand. Students were involved every step of the way, and continue to support the Plastic WIFE (Women in Free Enterprise) initiative.


•Diverted thousands of plastic grocery bags from campus waste stream into job-creating raw materials
•Developed ever-expanding market for commissioned and on-sight sales of product
•Provided training to more than 100 women, initially in English but now through train-the-trainer in Hausa
•Established alliances with local organizations to expand supply of recycled plastic bags that would otherwise end up as litter or burning trash

How did you find out about this challenge? (Check all that apply)

  • Internet Search

Would you like to be involved in Accelerate in the future? (Check all that apply)

  • Yes! I'd love to be involved in some way.
  • Help innovative organizations as a volunteer


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Photo of Matthew Ridenour

Thanks for your post Jelena! Very powerful. Is this your organization? If it's yours, how can OpenIDEO best support your efforts?

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