Bilikiss Adebiyi Abiola is the CEO and co-founder of Wecyclers, a for-profit social enterprise working to help communities reclaim their neighborhoods from unmanaged waste.
Bilikiss is a graduate of Fisk University, Vanderbilt University, and MIT’s Sloan School of Management. While at MIT, Bilikiss was a Legatum Fellow at MIT’s Legatum center for Development and Entrepreneurship and was a vice president of the MIT Sloan Africa Business Club.
Wecyclers was founded in 2012 and utilizes low-cost cargo bicycles called “wecycles” to provide convenient recycling services to households in Lagos, Nigeria using an SMS-based incentives system.
The company offers waste collection and recycling services to the Lagos informal settlements, where an estimated 66% of Lagosians live.
As a part of the process, residents are offered an incentive for collecting their household waste which is picked up for free by Wecyclers using specially adapted bicycles. To create incentives among low-income households to participate, rewards are given to them for every kilogram recycled, via points sent by SMS. These points are then redeemable against goods they value, such as cell phone minutes or basic food items. The rewards have been funded in partnership with big brands such as Coca Cola and GlaxoSmithKline.
In 2019, Wecyclers, won the 2019 King Baudouin African Development Prize worth €200,000 (N104 million) for its development work and its contribution to solving waste management problems not only in Nigeria but Africa.