This Dominican entrepreneur, Yohana Sosa D’ Alexis, is living proof that environmental concern doesn’t have to be at odds with good business management. Her paperboard recycling business has been up and running for eight years, showing that sustainability and profitability can go hand in hand.
Through ‘D’ Alexis Cartonera’, she sells corrugated paperboard boxes, a type of textured paper used to manufacture containers and packaging materials. All the goods are recycled, which helps reduce the number of chopped trees, avoiding deforestation.
Yohana wanted to market an affordable, good-quality merchandise that would not harm the environment. A dream she fulfilled with support from Banco Adopem, the Dominican institution of BBVA Microfinance Foundation. Yohana’s main buyers are companies and producers exporting perishable goods and meat products. Every one of them needs a different product and she provides them with personalized packaging.
According to the World Bank report ‘What a waste 2.0: A global snapshot of solid waste management to 2050’, in the next 30 years “global waste will increase from 2.01 billion metric tons in 2016 to 3.4 billion”. With these figures in mind, individual initiatives are not just a small gesture, but a real commitment to effectively change things.
Yohana proudly explains that the key to making progress lies in having the courage to take the leap into becoming an entrepreneur.
Yohana proudly explains that the key to making progress lies in having the courage to take the leap into becoming an entrepreneur. “There will be bad days, but with courage and hard work you can get over them. As long as you have your health, you can deal with everything else. This job pays the bills, allows me to spend time with my family and gives me self-confidence and independence”, she says. Her husband works in the business too, and both of them hope that their children will be able study without worrying about money, thanks to this microenterprise.
D’ Alexis Cartonera has a great future. Especially, upon knowing that the World Bank has warned that “without urgent action, global waste will grow by 70% on current levels”. Yohana’s future is sustainable and thanks to people like her, so is everyone else’s.
Cristina González del Pino, Communications BBVAMF