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Wecyclers roll out: Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola

Ijeoma Dhalia Nwagwu (Lagos Business School, Victoria Island, Nigeria)
Oreva Atanya (Lagos Business School, Victoria Island, Nigeria)
Ngozi Onuzo (Lagos Business School, Victoria Island, Nigeria)

Publication date: 9 July 2021


Study level/applicability

This case is appropriate for the following courses in undergraduate, graduate or executive programs.

Subject area

Sustainability, strategy, inclusive business, environmental sustainability and women in leadership. Upon completion of the case study discussion successful students will be able to:

Case overview

Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola brought to life Wecyclers, an urban waste management company in Nigeria that started as an idea during her MBA programme at MIT. Bilikiss served as its CEO from 2012 and mobilized efforts to sign up thousands of individuals, corporate bodies and agents who turn in waste to recycle. While waste management already had a lot of private sector participants (PSPs), there was no recycling company with a focus on community engagement as at the time Wecyclers came on board. The company went through several iterations to arrive at business model, develop its peculiar infrastructure, build partnerships and raise funds. The case study documents Wecyclers roll-out under the leadership of Bilikiss, whose work with Wecyclers has been shaped by her evolution as a professional woman with a background, education and network that has enabled her excel in the face of social norms which emphasize men as leaders. The case dilemma involves strategy cross-roads Bilikiss faced in mid-2017 as Wecyclers considered expanding its operation, pushed beyond waste collection, pushed by infrastructural weaknesses in the landscape which forced the company to consider vertical integration of its inclusive business model as a way forward to meaningfully serving its stakeholders – from communities, corporates to agents.

Expected learning outcomes

• Explore the strategic contexts of doing business in emerging markets;• understand the challenges and opportunities in inclusive business model for solving a social problem such as waste management; and • Examine the growth and evolution of women’s leadership, possibilities and hurdles, in a range of contexts.

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes are available for educators only.

Social implications

In this way, the case study contributes to the limited body of knowledge about strategic and pragmatic facing social enterprises in emerging markets, including funding, community engagement, infrastructure, etc. It also gives us a view of inclusive business models and the evolution of women’s leadership.

Subject code

CSS 3: Entrepreneurship.



Nwagwu, I.D., Atanya, O. and Onuzo, N. (2021), "Wecyclers roll out: Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola", .



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Ijeoma Nwagwu, Oreva Atanya and Ngozi Onuzo.

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