01 Jun

01 June 2016

Praveshen Naidoo, SAB Kickstart

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A single fluorescent lightbulb has enough mercury to contaminate as much as 30 000 litres of water. Africa has over a billion hazardous bulbs a year that need safe disposal or safe recycling, with over 100 million in South Africa alone. There are fluorescent light bulbs, big street lamps, mercury vapours, energy savers - all of them containing mercury.

eWaste provides industry with a feasible, environmentally ethical, legally compliant, cost effective and sustainable alternative to dumping.

Until 2016, lightbulbs were disposed of in landfill sites. This practice has been stopped and by August 2021, no electronic waste will be allowed to go into a landfill in South Africa.

The business started conceptually four years ago when I did a feasibility study in the United Kingdom for a week to learn about the processes. I spent a year on the business plan, but it took another eight to nine months before we were operational.

Entrepreneurship is lonely. I was looking for some form of mentorship and coaching, and SAB Kickstart Boost stood out, although I didn’t make it the first time I applied. A year later I got through to the business coaching session and found the pearls of wisdom I was looking for. The two weeks of training was phenomenal; working on your business plan, positioning your business and realising that you were not alone on this journey. I received the motivation, coaching and guidance I had wanted.

SAB Kickstart has accelerated my company’s growth by assisting with development tools and cash flow.  With the support, my business would not have expanded from KwaZulu-Natal to Gauteng, and now the Western Cape.

My passion is to create jobs, and the only way to do that is to become an industrialist. I’m passionate about business and saving the environment. I envision a national business with multiple offices, multiple managers, multiple staff and in multiple areas where we will impact South Africa.”