Faith Aweko is a wastepreneur. Her social enterprise, Reform Africa, is based on turning waste into wealth. Faith founded Reform Africa, a Uganda-based company that recycles plastics to make unique and fashionable bags.
Reform Africa is a creative response to the waste management problems in and around Kampala. According to Reform Africa’s founders, plastic pollution in slums surrounding Kampala can build up to create blockages, causing flooding and health hazards. Upcycling plastics in Kampala mitigates waste, creates jobs, and combines the founders’ passions of art and the environment.
Faith participated in the spring 2020 cohort of the Because Accelerator, Because International’s online mentorship program for entrepreneurs across the globe.
Through goal-setting and refining their business model in the Because Accelerator, Faith clearly sees Reform Africa’s potential for a big impact. Faith envisions Reform Africa eventually “recycl[ing] over 50 tons of plastic daily and being able to employ 5,000 youths in different parts of the country.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Reform Africa has worked quickly to adjust for meeting the needs of front-line workers. They partner with Plastic Preneur to construct face shields that meet current health needs. More innovative partnerships like this one will help Reform Africa continue toward their goals.
Reflecting on her time in the Because Accelerator, Faith says that she was most profoundly impacted by hearing stories from Because International mentors about the process of designing The Shoe That Grows.
“I found it interesting because we faced a lot of challenges designing our bags and prototyping when we were still starting the company,” she recounts. “I learned patience and perseverance.”