Starting at the base of every societal startup. What problem are you trying to solve?
As we know, Sweden is one of the leading countries in recycling of PET bottles and aluminium cans for refund. Yet, the past years the recycling rate have slowly decreased among the Swedes. Last year more than 15% of all bottles and cans that were produced were never recycled – meaning 250 millions of bottles and cans. One of the possible hindrance in the recycling system are companies who have a bad waste disposal system installed at the offices and/or kitchen area. Many times there are not enough space for collection or it is observed to take too much time to handle waste sorting. Which results that all waste, including bottles and cans, ends into one bin.
Another important issue that we address are the non profit organizations continuously fight with financing the organization and its activities. To keep up with the organization with high rents, necessary equipments and expensive membership for the participates – are costs that many nonprofit organizations continuously fight with.
How are you going to solve this? What is your idea?
Gepant offers a service that makes it easy for private people to donate their bottles and cans for refund to local nonprofit organizations. We have created a platform that makes fundraising fun and simple as well as provides great benefit for our environment and for all users of the platform. Now, the idea is to connect companies to the platform´s system and give them possibility to contribute to their local social development by donating their bottles and cans for refund. As there are a multiple companies with bad waste disposal, we hope that our platform will bring a better behaviour towards waste collection and sorting, as well as it will generate a more financial and social support to nonprofit organizations.
What impact do you hope to have?
We hope to increase the recycling of PET bottles and aluminium cans even more by providing innovative solutions which benefit all users of Gepant´s platform. Instead of traditional way of recycling, local organizations in the society will gain the important financial and social support to their organizations development. Furthermore, we hope to create a bigger environmental consciousness among all users of the platform. That young people at nonprofit organizations, in an early stage, get the important insight of the recycling process values for the environment and for the economy. But also, that companies by being a part of Gepant´s system automatically will improve their waste management behavior and find more efficient solutions to all kinds of waste at offices and kitchen places.
Focusing more on your team. Who are you? What is your background?
Besides Gepant, Danica works as sustainable consultant and supports others companies as Data Care Malmö AB and Swop Shop. She comes from a retail background and has worked in the retail industry both in Sweden and Australia. Danica holds an M.Sc. in Environmental Management and Policy at Lund University.
Besides Gepant, Sasa is the CEO of Next Invest in Stockholm AB, marketing director at Swedish Innovation System AB and managing director at Creatify Media AB. He have experience of platform development and have been involved in different projects and company creation since 2011. He holds an M.Sc. in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Lund University.
Why did you become societal entrepreneurs? Or really, why do you do what you do?
We are a team who are highly passionate for sustainable and innovative solutions. We behind Gepant have played sport for a nonprofit organization and disliked the multiple and diverse fundraising part of the membership. For instance, involving our parents to make cookies for us in the team to sell, or selling lottery during games, or knocking on the neighbours doors to sell products. It was time consuming and the last thing we, for being in a young age, wanted to do. In order to make the organisation keep running, fundraising became an important part of the membership. Therefore, for us at Gepant, it is important that all nonprofit organizations receives the opportunity to keep the costs down, give members more time on their activity, but also to make it possible for more people to become members. We truly believe that everyone should have a chance to do the sport/activity that they enjoy without it affecting the private time or due to financial issues at the organization to make this possible.
If you had one advice to give to other social entrepreneurs, what would it be?
Believe in what you are doing and dare to talk about the current issues you are facing as a start-up. Don’t aim for perfection! The word doesn’t exist, it is just a flurry era that confuses us only.
If I as a reader want to engage or help you reach your goals of impact. How can I do so? Is there any way to help at this stage?
Join us at Gepant.se! Maybe you are non profit organization that could need financial support? Or maybe you are a company that are interested in donating your bottles and cans for refund to nonprofit organizations, and at the same time making a great local social responsibility? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will explain more of the benefits you as a nonprofit organization and company gets from Gepants system.
Check out Gepant.se on Facebook and Instagram to see weekly updates and our development. See you at the next donation! Cheers!
Photo by Amanda Westin.