Nigeria’s Wecyclers Among 2016 Class Of Global Urban Innovators


Wecyclers, a Lagos-based recycling startup, has been selected to join the 2016 class of Global Urban Innovators, a competition with a mission of shaping a better urban future for all and sundry.

The competition seeks cutting edge startups and social enterprises that use technology to address urban challenges in their cities in four focus areas: Urban Mobility, Health & Wellness, Placemaking and Urban Infrastructure & Services.

Wecyclers gives low-income communities in developing countries a chance to capture value from waste and clean up their neighborhoods through incentive based recycling.

Recyclable goods collected from households are converted into an SMS-based point system that can be redeemed for useful goods and services.

The collection of waste from the subscribers is done using low-cost bicycle-powered vehicles called “wecycles”. These wecycles are manufactured locally and operated by youths from local communities.

The waste collected is then taken to the Wecyclers’ collection centers where they are sorted and baled for recycling organizations.

Wecylers, alongside the other startups in the class, will receive personalized mentorship, connections and become a Global Urban Innovators Alumni.

All the startups will also gain global exposure by showcasing their innovations during the New Cities Summit, a leading global event on urban innovation which brings together top entrepreneurs, innovators, change-makers, CEOs et al, which takes place in Montreal, Canada on June 21-23, 2016.

The competition was open to startups that have demonstrable urban applications, leverage the power of technology, completed a prototype with tangible results and are less than five years old.

Some of the alumni of the competition include SokoText, a Kenyan SMS-based pre-ordering service through which the micro-entrepreneurs place daily orders.

The competition is the brainchild of New Cities Foundation, a 2010-founded and Paris-based non-profit organization with a mission to shape a better urban future for all by fostering urban innovation and entrepreneurship.

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