Lorna Rutto is an inspirational, multi-passionate social entrepreneur with a vision to have a Green Africa free from poverty.
Lorna is a world economic forum young global leader and the Founder and CEO of EcoPost, a for-profit Social Enterprise that has created thousands of sustainable jobs for people in the marginalised communities while conserving the environment.
She was born in Nakuru, Kenya (Africa) in 1984. She holds a B.com degree in Accounting from Africa Nazarene University where she demonstrated outstanding leadership capabilities and was elected as the first female student council president.
She landed a job in the financial sector in 2007; however, she resigned and took the entrepreneurial plunge due to her innate need to create jobs for people living in dire poverty in the marginalized communities.
In 2010, she quit her bank job to start a waste recycling business.
Her company, EcoPost, collects and recycles waste plastic into aesthetic, durable and environmentally-friendly fencing posts that serve as an alternative material to timber.
But her business would have remained a dream without the financial support of international and local investors and NGOs.
Every year, hundreds of international and local organisations support businesses that tackle issues such as environmental pollution, illiteracy, disease and other social problems. They usually provide grants, donations, loans, equity or even training and advice.
The problem is, many African entrepreneurs don’t know about these funding opportunities, and as a result they don’t apply.
So in 2010, Lorna applied for and won a $6,000 SEED Award which served as start-up capital for her business. In the same year, she won a grant award of $12,700 from the Enablis Energy Globe-Safaricom Foundation.
She also won a business plan competition organized by the Cartier Women’s Initiative, and received a prize award of nearly $12,000.
Recently, her business attracted an equity investment from the Blue Haven Initiative and the Opus Foundation amounting to $495,000. This was used to expand the business and purchase advanced recycling equipment.
In the free course at the bottom of this article, I reveal the reasons why these organisations are eager to support businesses in developing countries by giving away millions of dollars as grants, donations, loans and equity every year.