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UNDP SOCIAL IMPACT PROGRAM 2022 Cohort

On Tuesday 12th of April 2022 V-LAB in partnership with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) office in Fiji launched the “Social impact Incubator”, a program that is intended to support Vanuatu’s social change actors.

The “Social impact incubator” will accompany during a period of 6 months those in the community that are looking to make positive changes with their ideas, businesses or organizations. These champions of Change, which are looking to improve the lives of people in sectors such as sanitation, health, social welfare, or environment, will receive an extensive package of support that will include coaching, training, networking, etc.

The programme will support a total of 20 participants, including 11 social businesses and 9 community organizations.

Kristofferson Mala brings a specific waste solution for a technological age, MKV E-waste Recycling, a defender of the environment.

Kristofferson is among the first cohorts of the “Social impact incubator” 2022, his business idea is for a social business which he is in the process of starting up. The name of the business is MKV E-waste Recycling and is being developed to recycle E-waste.

E-waste is the name given to any discarded electronic appliances like laptops, Computers, mobile phones, Televisions, or any digital device that people are no longer using because they are damaged or obsolete.

People want to “keep up” with the latest gadget that technology is providing, so they tend to discard the old equipment, and this becomes e-waste, explained Mr. Mala.

“Most electronics contain some form of toxic material, which if not disposed of properly, may pose serious risks to our environment.“

The entrepreneur shared that the idea to develop a business targeting E-waste came with the increasing dependency of the world on technology.

“The technology trends in terms of communication are changing at an ever-increasing rate. Every day, we see new gadgets that are grander,
bigger, and supposedly better being advertised. Keeping up with the latest technology is good, but what about the old, damaged equipment, there is no proper and safe way to dispose of them” said Kristofferson.

Because most of these electronics have toxic materials and there is no proper waste recycling mechanism in place for this specific waste, Mr. Mala formulated his business idea as a solution.

“We will collect equipment that is damaged, that people are no longer using, and we recycle any parts that can be recycled, fixe any equipment that can be fixed, and give them to charitable organizations that can reuse them.”

“ If this is not possible we will disassemble the equipment, and separate them into reusable and nonreusable parts. This is to ensure that whatever is taken to be dumped at the dumpsite will not damage the environment.”

Mr. Mala aims for the business he establishes to help protect the community and the environment from unsafe and unwanted toxins that may damage the environment, re-use equipment, help charitable organizations, provide a safe way to discard e-waste equipment, and give awareness to communities and schools about e-waste and its importance to the environment.

With the work V-Lab is doing towards entrepreneurship in Vanuatu, Mr. Mala saw the social impact incubator as an opportunity to develop his idea into a business.

He joined the program to gain some formal training from those who have established successful businesses and know the ropes of running a business and the networking opportunities that the program provides.

“The Incubator has helped me gain a lot of knowledge into developing a business mindset. Mainly, I have learned that running a business also depends on the branding of the business. If you have professional and attractive branding, people will recognize your business” shared Mr. Mala.

As the program progresses Mr. Mala hopes that his business is established and grows with the help of all the things the program has taught him.

“Look at what it can be and how it can be helpful and build on that to fulfill your dream-lab can help you make your dreams become a sweet reality.“

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