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Yaye Souadou Fall and Khady Diallo, Leading the Recycling Sector in Senegal

Founders of E-cover, with the slogan "Nothing is lost, everything is transformed", these young women who are not even thirty years old yet, created a plant that recycles tires

The Woman Post | Maria Claudia Londoño

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Their beginnings were to sell shoe soles, and today their products are destined for grass fields and construction materials such as cladding for the facades of houses, slabs for gardens, playgrounds, and basketball or tennis courts, and soon they plan to venture into road construction.

Yaye Soudaou Fall obtained the Anzisha award in 2016 and during COP 22, she was recognized for her activity in favor of the environment. The Anzisha program is made up of the African Leadership Academy and Mastercard Foundation, whose purpose is to identify, train and connect young entrepreneurs between the ages of 15 and 22 who, due to their initiatives and projects, represent excellent potential and thus significantly increase the number of job-creating entrepreneurs on the African continent.

Despite having the difficulties of starting and taking off an enterprise, and the gender factor present as an obstacle to obtaining financing and consolidation, E-cover will be able to establish a semi-industrial production unit in Dakar thanks to the fact that it has just obtained 216 million FCFA of WIC Capital, which is dedicated to promoting micro, small and medium enterprises that are run by women in Senegal and West Africa.

Yaye is the executive director and Khady is the deputy director of this company that was born from observing the tires that were left along the fields and highways as useless waste, but that additionally created a health problem, since they became a breeding ground for disease-transmitting mosquitoes and, on the other hand, when somebody decided to burn them, it was a process that generated toxic gases for the environment and the communities.

When the idea arose, they also found the need to structure a process to chop up the huge tires into the by-products of truck tires to what they are today. Many tries and trials finally led them to get what they were thinking. Along the way, they went through repeated and constant refusals from banks or potential investors, since they explained that it was a sector reserved for men and that their business model was destined to fail. This is how in Africa only 3.5% of initial investments are allocated to companies founded and created by women.

This is a story that is repeated in many corners of the globe and whose result is that women's business ideas are stifled because they do not have the necessary economic impetus to grow, buy equipment, hire staff, and other investments for start-ups and growth.

E-cover is an example of resilience, vision, and persistence that these two women from Senegal expose to the world with pride and conviction, which has received the support of WIC, a venture capital company led by leading women in Senegal in response to the existing imbalances in the business world between men and women in the business world, which sometimes directs their efforts to loans from relatives or in some cases, if they do not obtain a source of monetary support, they are forced to limit its initiatives and operations on a smaller scale, which hinders opportunities for economic development at the international level.

The Woman Post applauds these women and highlights their path that will surely take them far.