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  Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola, a Nigerian entrepreneur, has made significant strides in the world of business and environmental sustainability. Born in 1983 in Lagos, Nigeria, Adebiyi-Abiola attended the Supreme Education Foundation secondary school before pursuing higher education abroad. She initially enrolled at the University of Lagos but later transferred to Fisk University in the United States, where she completed her undergraduate studies. She furthered her education at Vanderbilt University, earning a master’s degree before working at IBM for five years.
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The Wecyclers’ Dream

It was during her time at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that Adebiyi-Abiola conceived the idea for her groundbreaking venture. While studying for her Master of Business Administration (MBA) at MIT, she focused on waste management, identifying the pressing issue of waste accumulation in her hometown of Lagos. Adebiyi-Abiola’s vision for a recycling business, aimed at addressing Lagos’s waste management challenges, began to take shape. In 2012, Adebiyi-Abiola co-founded Wecyclers, a pioneering recycling company based in Lagos. Wecyclers’ innovative approach involves collecting recyclable waste from households and rewarding them with incentives such as food, cleaning products, or cellphone minutes in exchange. The company utilizes modified tricycles to navigate through areas inaccessible to conventional waste collection vehicles, effectively gathering waste from thousands of households across Lagos. Under Adebiyi-Abiola’s leadership, Wecyclers has made significant strides in promoting environmental sustainability and community engagement. The company works in partnership with the Lagos Waste Management Authority to increase the recycling rate in Lagos, aiming to double the proportion of recycled waste from 18% in 2011. Through strategic collaborations with companies like Coca-Cola, GlaxoSmithKline, and Guinness, Wecyclers has secured vital support for its recycling efforts.
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Awards and Recognition

Adebiyi-Abiola’s dedication to environmental conservation and entrepreneurship has garnered recognition both locally and internationally. She has been the recipient of grants from MIT and has received numerous awards, including the prestigious Cartier Women’s Initiative Award for sub-Saharan Africa in 2013. Wecyclers, under her leadership, was awarded the King Baudouin International Development Prize in 2018/19, further solidifying its impact on sustainable development. In addition to her contributions to environmental sustainability through Wecyclers, Adebiyi-Abiola has held prominent roles in the Lagos State government. In 2017, she transitioned from her role as CEO of Wecyclers to become the Managing Director of the Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK). She later assumed the position of Director General of the Lagos State Records and Archives Bureau (LASRAB), demonstrating her versatility and commitment to public service.
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Final Thoughts

Adebiyi-Abiola’s journey serves as proof of the power of entrepreneurship and environmental stewardship. Through her visionary leadership and dedication, she continues to make a significant impact on both the business terrain and environmental sustainability efforts in Nigeria. As she forges ahead in her endeavours, Adebiyi-Abiola remains an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs and environmental advocates alike.
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This article was first published on 27th April 2024 and updated on April 28th, 2024 at 11:40 pm


Chidiogo Shalom Akaelu holds a degree in English and Literary Studies, from the University of Nigeria. She is a freelance writer, editor and founder of Loana Press, a budding online publishing outlet.

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