Lagos Circular Business Community & Platform

Lagos Circular Business Community & Platform

September 2021

Oxfam Novib, Oxfam Nigeria, EDC Lagos, and Circle Economy Amsterdam developed and offered a new training module to introduce Nigerian SMEs how to transform their business into a Circular Business Model. Several businesses that participated in the course have started to transform their operations to a small or large extent. Some have started to make products from their waste. Some have reorganized their resource management, and some have even redesigned their production process to increase the possibility to recycle after the product is used. Next to increased social and environmental sustainability, this also creates more business opportunities and more employment opportunities, both much required in the Nigerian economy.

For example, Pad-Up Creations is a social enterprise that produces washable and re-usable sanitary pads for rural and low income girls/women. Pad-Up Creations’ business model was designed to improve female menstrual hygiene by producing sanitary pads that can be used multiple times. A lot of waste is generated through the production process. After joining the Oxfam’s support program, the CEO of Pad-Up, Olivia, also attended the circular economy course in 2019. This led to re-designing her business model, hoping to become more sustainable .The markets for the sanitary pads and for the new educational toys produced from production waste are more institutional than shops. This needed a further search for and collaboration with schools, communities, orphanages and foundations for the marketing and distribution. Developing and managing such partnerships is essential for this new way of working.

The partnerships of a circular business are required to be much more integrated than in a linear system. This showed a need for new partnerships, emerging into requests to find new partners and get assistance to find them. Oxfam decided to use that demand and energy to promote the set-up of a community specifically for businesses that orient or started to transform their models to become more circular.

The Consulate General of The Netherlands (CG) in Lagos was engaged to explore which other stakeholders in Lagos, also Dutch ones, would be interested. A new partnership emerged from that, where Oxfam Novib and Oxfam Nigeria, the Lagos Business School Sustainability Center, the Nigeria Climate Innovation Center (NCIC) and the Dutch CG started to work together to develop a platform for businesses and other stakeholders in the circular economy space in Lagos.

The Dutch CG started to work on this idea in collaboration with several other organizations, such as the Lagos State Government, the University of Lagos , various corporates such as Heineken and Lafarge, circular SMEs, the Circular Economy Innovation Partnership (CEIP) etc. All these parties showed interest in the idea of establishing a Circular Business Platform in Lagos. The expert organizations ACEN (African Circular Economy Alliance and HCH (Holland Circular Hotspot) were contracted to assess the market on what exactly such a platform should look like to respond to the market demand.

The study concluded there is high demand for a Circular Business Platform connecting businesses, knowledge institutes, civil society, and the government on Lagos State level. It has also found that the platform should be an independent and self-sufficient entity that connects to Circular Lagos, a public-private initiative to promote circular economy in Lagos State.

Having analyzed the feedback of all stakeholders the study has outlined that a successful Circular Business Platform in Lagos will connect all relevant stakeholders working on circular economy related themes including plastics, e-waste, and construction waste, and will make education and training, data gathering, research, and knowledge sharing, landscape mapping accessible to businesses, government and other key stakeholder groups.

The Launching event of the platform will take place in the first week of October and will be a hybrid event. Interested to join or to learn more? Please don’t hesitate to contact info@circularlagos.com for more information.