Two years ago, Jean Bosco planned to turn tea waste into biogas (fuel) for people in his home district. After working with his AEC mentors, he decided that the capital requirements to build a biogas plant were too high, so he shifted to more affordable products to produce: organic fertilizers and cleaner burning briquettes. To get the inputs that he needed for these two products, Jean Bosco pitched for and was awarded the contract to manage the district's waste collection and sorting facility. Overnight, he had 300,000 clients. AEC gave Jean Bosco a loan of $7,000 to buy startup supplies, and he was able to generate an additional $25,000 in working capital to hire garbage trucks to collect the waste and people to sort it. Habona grew from a company of 3 employees to one of 50 permanent and 20 temporary employees.
Last summer, Jean Bosco was chosen to be part of the US State Department's Young African Leadership Initiative. He spent 3 months in an internship at the Wisconsin Biological Engineering Systems, where he drastically increased his technical understanding of bio-waste products. At the end of his internship, Jean Bosco was awarded another $25,000 for Habona. Today, Jean Bosco is working to provide green products to the people of his village. He has raised another $50,000 to purchase more efficient machines so that he can double his capacity and produce briquettes with 50% more burn life.