In this period of Covid-19 pandemic, washing your hands with soap is one of the famous "barrier gestures". However, it is still necessary to have water, soap and that this soap is not toxic to the environment.
The Green N Kool has worked on 2 solutions :
1. A ecofriendly and solidarity soap made of used edible oil, which is usually dumped down the drain and a major source of urban water pollution.
2. A prototype of a no-rinse soap to help vulnerable people who do not have access to water.
We have developed a soap that will be distributed to the most needed people in Madagascar during these difficult COVID-19 times thanks to a solidarity system:
1 soap bought = 1 soap given to vulnerable people, associations, NGOs.
Bonus : the soap has ecofriendly benefits and create jobs.
During the past few months our team has tested and developed this soap made of used cooking oil that is affordable. We already have many orders and are currently increasing our production to reach 3000 soaps per month but we'd like to produce more to answer the demand and need investment for that.
As our sales increase, we will start investing in our new prototype of no rinse-soap for people who do not have access to water. We need investment to enrich this prototype.
- Local market :
* individuals from medium and high social class can buy our soap in supermarkets and online. It can be bought by all age group beyond 18. We'll focus on the capital city in 2020 with a potential market of 220 000 persons (=10% of the population of the city). With a goal of 5% of this specific target in January 2021 so the potential market can reach 11 000 USD per month.
* NGOs, associations UN entities, Companies (for their CSR strategy) + Government, local authorities
These actors are givings donations to vulnerable people affected by the confinement and the economic downturn in different regions of Madagascar. They are currently our main targets, particularly for our no-rinse soap prototype with a potential
There is a potential market for a hundred thousands of customers but we are limited by our production capacity so with the investment asked, we'll start with a target market of 20 000 people - 20 000 USD per month.
We are still working on our no-rinse soap price but we want it to be affordable to reach a large market.
-Global market :
After the different tests and finalization of our no rinse soap,we plan to find partners in other African countries who are ready to duplicate it with the same solidarity spirit (countries that have similar context and issues related to access to water).
Problem or Opportunity
According to a study published in 2017 by the Malagasy Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (MWSH), the rate of access to drinking water in Madagascar is close to 30% to 35%. While in Antananarivo, the capital city, three out of four people do not have access to water, according to UNICEF. Unfortunately, the demand for soaps to be offered to less privileged is increasing because of the pandemic.
UNICEF in Madagascar and some NGOs has already contacted us in order to support our idea of no rinse soap and also buy a soap that can have better impacts for our environment. We're currently discussing the form of partnership with these actors. Antananarivo town hall is interested to collaborate too. Indeed, the social impacts of our projects can be huge. Having access to soap is not only important to prevent the pandemic but also to prevent water-related diseases like diarrhea which is one of the main causes of death of children under 5 in the country.
Solution (product or service)
Alt. Soap :
- a soap made from used edible oil that is safe for environment. Indeed, waste oil spilled in the environment presents a real danger to our environment. Thrown into water, the oil freezes and forms a film on the surface. Accumulated oil can clog pipes, especially in winter. The film formed by this oil prevents the circulation of oxygen in the water. In the pipes, this corrupts the bacteria responsible for the purification of wastewater. In nature, it is harmful to aquatic fauna and flora. Wastewater treatment plants are also victims of the presence of waste oils in the pipes. These are the source of an alarming additional depollution cost. Burning oils has disastrous effects too. Performed in poor conditions, the combustion of the oil causes toxic fumes to be returned to the atmosphere and the release of carcinogens. The oils thrown away with household waste cause damage to the incineration oven. However, in Madagascar, there is no public collection or recycling system plan to fight this source of dangerous pollution.
- a prototype of no rinse soap currently in the form of a foaming soap.
We do not have direct competitors, however, there are of course many local soap factories with bigger size and production. Most of them are transforming imported swabs soap and are now working in their full capacity to answer the demand. They represented more than 55% of the market. Imported soaps are also all over the market (40%) whereas 5% are handmade.
The good side of the pandemic is that people want to buy local products more and even the government encourage to support small entrepreneurs and handmade.
Advantages or differentiators
- This sanitary crisis invite people to solidarity act, we are the only social business that is offering to help with a solidarity soap
- Ecofriendly benefits, there's no actor who are recycling this edible oil to make soap in Madagascar
- We have a strong team spirit. Team members are involved in all the process and decisions. We have different profiles in our team : social workers, environmentalist, waste management specialist, chemistry engineer, project manager but also vulnerable people working on the packaging of our soaps
- Good reputation and visibility of our structure that already has experience in waste management. It has been 4 years that we have created different green products and been awarded for our work.
We are producing now different a large range of soap with used cooked oil and different prices :
- a body soap with endemic essential oil (ravintsara, baobab) and local essential oil ylang ylang, coconut, niaouli,hibiscus, spirulina : 2.5 USD
- a neutral laundry soap (30g to 250g) : 0.40 to 1 USD
With the sale of each soap, we provide a soap (A neutral handsoap of 100g) for free to NGOs,associations.
Despite this system, we still have a marginal coefficient x2
In the next five years, we hope to reach the national market thanks to the creation of more small artisanal soap factories in different regions (6 cities of Madagascar) and reach a production of 30 000 soaps per month. As a social business, we'll employ more marginalized people.
We already have a local and a team in the north of the country and will probably start a small production in December 2020.
We won't export our ecofriendly soap, however, we'll invest in our no-rinse soap that will be duplicated and produced in other African countries.
Our social business, the Green N Kool, launched in 2016, is recognized for its commitment towards waste recovery, promotion of sustainable alternatives and empowerment of vulnerable people. While developing our eco-friendly soap during the past months, we have simultaneously proven that more and more restaurants, individuals and companies want to contribute now to our solidarity distribution system. We collect oil from them, they give it from free.
In order to facilitate the collection of used cooking oil, we have started an app that will facilitate our collection routes, encourage people to contribute and that could also indicate a collecting point. A national mobile provider is ready to help us in this awareness campaign to promote the app and our project.
This soap is promoted mostly through social media and even got support even by individuals who are earning points by helping us gathering oil. These points can be transform into zero waste goods we're producing too. Local and international media has already helped to promote our product and our no-rinse soap project
We're selling soap through stores, supermarket, online and in our own shop in the capital city.
Money will be spent on
- Research and Development of the no rinse soap project : 8000 USD
- Increase of our production of soap (up to 10.000) : 3000 USD
- Purchase of new equipment for our laboratory : 3200 USD
- Purchase of raw materials : 3000 USD
-Communication tools ( promotional video, customization of our vehicle,advertisement, packaging) : 2000 USD
- Working capital : 2000 USD
Offer for investor
- shares in our social business
- Visibility in our communication
- We fear the replication of our system by an actor with more financial means and greater production capacity
- Theft of our formula on the no rinse soap for purely lucrative purposes whereas we're ready to share it to partners who will adopt a solidarity system in exchange.
- Lack of used edible oil to answer the demand
Incubation/Acceleration programs accomplishment
Participation in NextA Madagascar : https://www.facebook.com/nextA.mg/
Won the competition and other awards
- Alt. Soap is Winner of the national Hack the crisis "Hackoragnavirus" in Madagascar - April 2020
- 5th rank at the Global Hack in the Environment category with the project "Alt. Soap" (more than 1000 projects from 60 countries were presented) - April 2020
- Southern Africa Startup Awards finalist 2019 as Best Social Startup + Female role model of the year for the CEO of Green N Kool, Ms. Kolo
- WWF Youth Africa Awards 2018 2nd runner up for its CEO of Green N Kool, Ms. Kolo
We also got support for our project Alt. Soap by our Minister of Environment herself, who promoted Alt. Soap on her official facebook page and on the Ministry official facebook page.