Tomorrow’s leaders solving today’s problems: Mondi supports young entrepreneurs with $50,000 Prize

Mondi, the sustainable packaging and paper solutions provider, is continuing its partnership with One Young World, the global forum for young leaders, on the Lead2030 initiative – a competition to find youth-led practical solutions to drive progress on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Following the success of 2019’s Lead2030 initiative, Mondi has committed $50,000 to fund a new project in 2020 that will make a tangible contribution to SDG12 ‘Responsible Consumption and Production’ by turning packaging waste into raw materials of inherent value.

Online applications are open now with the manufacturer calling for 18-30 year olds from across the world to apply for a chance of receiving both funds and business mentoring from senior figures within Mondi. With Mondi’s help, the winning candidate will have the opportunity to turn their concept into a viable solution for tackling waste, which will have a positive impact on achieving SDG12.

Hope Mwanake, Co-Founder of Eco Blocks and Tiles and 2019 winner said: "Gaining the support from Mondi over the last year came at exactly the right time for Eco Blocks & Tiles. The business mentoring provided me with invaluable advice on marketing, business planning, and promoting the business. We are now ready to take our business to the next level and turnaround plastic waste in Kenya."  

Gladys Naylor, Mondi Group Head of Sustainable Development, Mondi, said: “As an advocate of a circular economy, Mondi is determined to find better ways to convert waste into useful and valuable resources. The challenge is to create a zero waste future, with new packaging and logistical solutions, to address waste in the supply chain and eliminate or re-use waste streams to create circular solutions.

"This year we were impressed by Hope Mwanake with her business Eco Blocks & Tiles, which turns discarded plastic into affordable roof tiles and provides a living wage for young Kenyans. We were proud to give her business a boost to scale their sales through a sharing of skills and knowledge from business planning to marketing as well as financial support. Eco Blocks & Tiles aims to recycle 750 tonnes of plastic waste by 2025 – the equivalent of approximately 75.8 million plastic bottles.

"Now, the search is on for more bright young minds to identify smart ways to reach a goal of zero waste and we look forward to seeing the ideas of talented applicants.”

Kate Robertson, co-founder of One Young World, said: “We have just ten years to go to achieve the SDGs and we will not get there without the action of young leaders and financial support from business. Along with other Lead2030 winners and partners Mondi Group and Eco Blocks & Tiles are leading by example.”

Through the Lead2030 Challenge, Mondi hopes to raise awareness on ‘responsible consumption and production’ and drive even greater innovation across both its own business and the industry more broadly to turn packaging waste into raw materials of inherent value.

All winners and representatives will attend the One Young World summit in 2020 taking place in Munich, Germany. Applications for Lead2030 closes on 5th January 2020 and the winner will be announced in May 2020. 

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