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Yola EcoSentials, Nigeria: waste-to-wealth community social enterprise

Mokhalles Mohammad Mehdi (Department of Business Administration, Tezpur University, Tezpur, India)
Sandip Rakshit (School of Information Technology and Computing, American University of Nigeria, Yola, Nigeria)
Jelena Zivkovic (Department of Academic Affairs, American University of Iraq, Baghdad, Iraq)

Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies

ISSN: 2045-0621

Publication date: 1 September 2021


Learning outcomes

• Identify challenges of operating a start-up business. • Understand the social enterprise and role of gender (women entrepreneurship). • Assess the responsibility of unskilled women entrepreneurs and the challenges faced by them. • Describe business and marketing strategies adopted in market segmentation and product promotion. • Discuss strategies adopted to sustain a small business.

Case overview/synopsis

Yola EcoSentials (YES) was a social enterprise originated from the American University of Nigeria, Yola, capital city of Adamawa, Nigeria. It was established in September, 2012. It started with the mission to improve the environment, reduce waste and empower women. It engaged in production of hand bags, wallets, table mats and iPad bags from the recycled waste items such as nylons. YES was founded and spearheaded by Charles Reith (Chief Executive Officer). YES faced certain major challenges in expanding its business, namely, maintenance of quality products and accountability of business operations including personal income savings plan and source of new customers. Moreover, YES was having a serious concern of project sustainability because of the availability and division of insufficient raw materials to operate their business. To overcome these challenges, in December 2016, YES planned to devise its growth strategy to operate their business run by local women in Yola, Nigeria.

Complexity academic level

Undergraduate and graduate early stage programme.

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes are available for educators only.

Subject code

CSS 3: Entrepreneurship.



Authors acknowledge all the officials of Yola EcoSentials, Nigeria for their quick response in information sharing and allowing us to write the case.Disclaimer. This case is written solely for educational purposes and is not intended to represent successful or unsuccessful managerial decision-making. The authors may have disguised names, financial and other recognizable information to protect confidentiality.


Mehdi, M.M., Rakshit, S. and Zivkovic, J. (2021), "Yola EcoSentials, Nigeria: waste-to-wealth community social enterprise", Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, Vol. 11 No. 2.



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