In the U.S., little things like liquid soap can be taken for granted. But in other parts of the world, it can make a pretty big difference. In Nigeria, about 80 percent of the population uses bar soap to hand-wash their dishes each day. But liquid soap offers both economic and hygienic advantages.
That’s where Nigerian entrepreneur Cynthia Ndubuisi got the idea for her business, EverGlow. The company created a biodegradable dish soap that is non-toxic and derived from plants.
Ndubuisi needed some help with the technical aspects of her business. So she turned to mentoring websiteMicroMentor for assistance. Through the site, she met former UPS executive Gary Mastro. With his help, Ndubuisi was able to launch EverGlow, hire a team, and exceed growth expectations.
But the two weren’t done yet. Ndubuisi wanted to help her local economy even more. And since farming is such a huge industry there, that’s where she felt like she could make a real impact.
One of Nigeria’s main crops is the cassava plant. It’s used to make fufu, which is a very common Nigerian food, as well as other products like baking flour. But processing the cassava plant is very time-consuming. So it can be difficult for farmers to turn a profit by growing it. Ndubuisi came up with another method, which she explained to MicroMentor:
“I thought of how we could help farmers process the cassava to reduce their stress and increase their productivity. I came up with a fabricated cassava processing machine that farmers can bring their plants to, which can help them peel and grind the cassava, so they can be used in consumer goods, like gari and fufu—two Nigerian food staples.”
The result was the Kadosh Production Company helping farmers increase their profits and decrease the waste involved in cassava farming. Ndubuisi also came up with a green solution for disposing of the cassava peels, making them into feed for livestock. That, in addition to the potential economic impact on the agriculture industry, make this new product an exciting opportunity for both Ndubuisi and Mastro. He explained to MicroMentor:
“The thing that’s exciting about working with Cyndy is the passion she has and the desire to make life better for people in Nigeria, for people in her local community, for people in her country and for others. That passion and pure entrepreneurial spirit to attempt changes like this, I believe will make an incredible impact.”
Images: MicroMentor, EverGlow, Kadosh