This is a story about making a difference in one’s community and country. Patricia Patrice Majule is a 25-year-old native of Tanzania, and founder of Unique Favors TZ, a sustainable company that produces paper products from recycled egg carton waste. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Commerce in Accounting from the University of Dar Es Salaam Business School. She is one of the brightest young entrepreneurs in Africa, having been named to Forbes 30 Under 30 Most Promising Entrepreneurs in 2018.
Many passions drive this successful sustainable entrepreneur. First and foremost, Patricia invests her time and soul in her business to combat poverty in her home country. She believes that through job creation she can help families feel more economically secure and thus reduce family size in her local community and over time at a national level.
In her eyes, poverty is the root of all evil in the world, and she aims to combat it not only through jobs but through her charity events to raise the living standards of disabled individuals. Environmental sustainability is another important driver for Ms. Majule. She wants to protect the environment for future generations, and it is reflected in her product materials and services. These passions are what drive her aspirations for a brighter and greener future, and they inspired the creation of her business, Unique Favors Tz.
The Need for Leaders
Tanzania is a beautiful country located on the coast of East Africa, with a population little more than 57 million people. It is roughly twice the size of the state of California and is famed for its beaches, the Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Crater and Mount Kilimanjaro. Due to the country’s abundant supply of natural wonders, it is of little surprise that tourism plays a major role in its economy. Agriculture is the king here, however, generating 85% of the country’s exports and employing 65% of its workforce. Tanzania’s healthy economy has soared in recent years to become the second largest among East African nations and twelfth in the whole of Africa.
This positive economic growth has led to numerous social economic successes, such as lowering unemployment to about 10% as of 2014 and decreasing the poverty rate. Tanzania had a staggering poverty rate of 34% in 2007 before it dipped to 28% in 2012 and then to 26% as of 2016. Even though these rates continue to drop, poverty is still rampant. Many people in this country are desperate for a better life and brighter tomorrow. This country needs visionary leaders and entrepreneurs like Patricia Majule.
Sustainability and the Beginnings of Something Unique
Patricia is the founder and director of Unique Favors Tz, a Tanzania based company she began at the age of 19. Unique Favors Tz was established in 2014 and is renowned for its creative party decors, party celebration accessories, as well as gift and souvenir products. This budding company strives to earn customers trust and engagement through continued product innovation.
Patricia described her company’s mission as focused on people. She said, “we treat our existing customers and potential customers in an excellent manner as well as valuing our business stakeholders from employees to business partners.” This laser focus on customer service has allowed Unique Favors Tz to flourish and expand its product lines over the past 5 years.
As with any entrepreneurial venture, Patricia faced challenges when she began her business. Going to college full time and launching a successful business is no easy task. Patricia says that the most difficult challenge she faced was getting consumers to trust her business and products due to her young age. Through persistence and consistency, she overcame these hurdles and proved to her customers that it is possible for someone to begin young and grow alongside her business.
High tech companies such as Apple and Google were famously started in a garage. For Patricia, her company started in a bedroom. During the first year, all business activities were conducted in the same room where she slept at night. Patricia believes that “persistence is the key to greater achievements,” and it was not long before Unique Favors Tz had both production and display offices.
To cut down on rampant environmental pollution, Unique Favors Tz utilizes a special type of cardboard that is made from egg carton waste. Tanzanians love eggs, and there are many poultry farms across the country as well as small scale entrepreneurs that sell eggs at kiosks and bars. Instead of these many egg cartons going to landfills, they are being recycled and given a new life. Also, all of the packaging that the company uses is made from paper instead of plastic materials, which is much better for the environment due to its ability to be broken down naturally.
Scaling a Sustainable Business
The short term goal for Patricia and Unique Favors Tz is to increase production, which requires more machinery and office space. Marketing of the Unique Favors Tz brand is another near-term focus for Patricia and her team. Strong marketing and increased production capacity will allow her to hire more individuals and expand to new locations. She hopes to scale her operations throughout the whole of Africa, which will allow her company to improve the lives of people and the environment both locally and globally through job creation.
Patricia has created a unique product and a determined team, a powerful combination that will enable Unique Favors to expand within Tanzania and over the coming years. I am inspired by Patricia Majule, and I believe that through her investment of time and energy, there is little doubt that she will reach and surpass her most ambitious goals. Patricia is making a difference every day, creating jobs, donating to charities, and inspiring hope for people throughout Tanzania and everyone who has read to the end of this blog post!
Story written by Dalton Luther, firstname.lastname@example.org
Click here to read an interview with Patricia for the Lionesses of Africa blog. And click here for a previous blog post on the Competitive Advantages of Sustainable Entrepreneurship.
LinkedIn: https://tz.linkedin.com/in/patricia-majule-8b847493 and Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/patriciamajule/