After nine years in the banking industry, Fransman felt the urge to launch her own business – one that would make a difference in her community. She identified a gap in the market in the northern suburbs of Cape Town where no-one was collecting recyclable waste from homes.
In 2009, she started offering bi-monthly collections in the northern suburbs and after just one year, the scope widened to include Tableview and the southern suburbs. The company’s service offering has grown to include pick-ups from businesses and complexes. Recyclable waste is weighed and it receives a monthly report on the impact it has had on the environment.
Making an impact
Today, Recycle 1st has more 1 000 customers and employs 30 staff to ensure that all recyclables are sorted and sent to reputable end users.
“I love South Africa, so I want to help our people and make our country a better place. Job creation has long been a concern, so I’m grateful that this business has been able to improve the livelihood of others. I really enjoy putting my heart and soul into my own business and doing good for the environment,” says Fransman.
Earlier this year, Recycle 1st was the People’s Choice Award Winner at the Shanduka Black Umbrellas National Development Awards, which celebrates top performing small and medium enterprises.
“I am proud of our growth in every sphere of our business,” says Fransman. “The number of staff employed, turnover and the amount of recycling we have diverted from landfill has all grown significantly.”
Her short-term goals include upskilling her existing staff to increase the number of customers she collects from and to build a business that is stable and duplicable. Over the long-term, she plans to expand the business across the country.
“You must know what you want and what your goals are for the immediate future so that you don’t slog along aimlessly, but work towards your goals every day,” she concludes.
Fransman’s advice for aspiring entrepreneurs:
- Do the necessary research before you launch a business to ensure that there is a market and it is viable.
- When times get tough, don’t lose focus on accomplishing your dreams.
- Work hard but smart and seek advice wherever you go.