Gjenge Makers is building material from plastic waste

Location:

Nairobi, Kenya

Sector:

Construction

Jobs created:

152 since 04/2022

Impact:

25t recycled in 2023

Financial and venture building support since 2022.

The Challenge

Plastic pollution and housing crisis

Gjenge Makers is driven by a profound concern for two pressing challenges: the pervasive problem of plastic pollution and the dire Kenyan housing crisis. Each day, Nairobi alone generates a staggering 500 tons of plastic waste. Meanwhile, over 2 million households in Kenya lack access to adequate housing, leaving countless families trapped in substandard conditions.

WE ARE
PAVING THE WAY

CONCRETE ALTERNATIVE

The innovation

Plastic Waste as Building Material

Gjenge Makers possesses an awe-inspiring innovation that captivates the imagination. They have unlocked the potential of plastic waste, transforming it into durable and eco-friendly paving tiles and drywall bricks. By ingeniously shredding plastic waste and combining it with sand, they have harnessed the power to create structures that are up to 7 times stronger than concrete blocks, all while being significantly lighter.

THE STANDOUT

Why Gjenge Makers?

Gjenge Makers convinces with inventive spirit, an incredibly motivated team and an insanely resilient founder. Already during our first visit, we noticed a yellow part of the press that somehow had a different texture than the rest of the machine. When asked, the founder, Nzambi, explained that it was an old excavator arm that she had bought at the scrap yard and used for a different purpose because she had no other parts available. She also told us that she designed and built all her machines herself. This entrepreneurship convinces us.

AFFORDABLE SOLUTION

Key Facts

Start-up Impact

Economics
  • Stable earnings in production for women and youth groups
  • Increased income for garbage collectors
  • Stronger construction industry due to more affordable materials
Climate
  • Contributing to circular economy
  • Less CO2 emission during transportation
Health
  • Better health through better housing and sanitation

People

Meet the Founder

Nzambi Matt

Founder & CEO of Gjenge Makers

Nzambi is a materials engineer from Nairobi with a bachelor’s degree in physics, a curious mind and boundless entrepreneurial energy. She was named Young Champion of the Earth 2020 Africa winner at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Together with a team of fellow engineers, all tired of witnessing the negative impact plastic waste was having on the Kenyan landscape, she decided to find a solution for the problem.

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