KARMA YONTEN

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Karma (30) is Bhutan’s first citizen to turn waste management and recycling into a business. He saw opportunity in the country’s maligned, unsightly and toxic landfills, which posed a danger to people’s health.

With the assistance of YBI member The Loden Entrepreneurship Programme (LEP), Karma launched his pioneering enterprise, Greener Way, with basic equipment and a waste collection van.

Today this burgeoning business – operating across 5 regions and praised for contributing towards Bhutan’s gross national happiness philosophy – is tackling the country’s growing waste problem head-on. It collects, separates and correctly disposes of domestic waste material; it manages over 1,000 tonnes of recyclable matter; it has launched ground-breaking education initiatives; and it turns organic waste into high-grade compost.

“To quit my job and take up the waste business, which is considered very low profile in Bhutan, was never welcomed,” says Karma. “But I had a business dream and I was not going to let it go.”

“The Loden Enterprise Programme believed in my business idea and in me, and their timely grant of capital enabled me to buy the necessary equipment and a van to collect waste,” says Karma. “Furthermore, the LEP’s encouragement, mentoring and support were the driving force behind my venture into this business.”

Karma is the YBI Environmental Entrepreneur of the Year 2013. Read his full story here.

For more on YBI’s member in Bhutan, visit: http://www.loden.org/

 


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