After a solo career in marketing, Aya Sarsour Khateeb and her husband launched an ecological Palestinian start-up, known as Mnjm, which recycles household waste and transforms it into raw materials for factories. The idea was developed from a simple observation made, at the time, by the co-founders. For just the two of them, they produced too much solid waste. Far too much! Looking for an alternative to get rid of this household waste and plastic bottles in particular, in an environmentally friendly way, the couple struggled with the lack of options they were offered. In fact, not a single company agreed to collect it and recycle it. Conscious of this problem, they made it their mission to offer a green solution to this problem. Aya, with support from her husband, has now embarked on an entrepreneurial adventure under the label of ecology, Mnjm.
The first step was to focus on raising awareness among the general public by carrying out, in particular, activities with the children of Ramallah. At the same time, Mnjm managed to mobilise an exponential community of volunteers, composed of members who were concerned about the environment and were eager for change. In addition to their successful start-up, Aya and her husband are now pleased to bring about a change in the attitudes and perception of the Palestinians in relation to solid waste. Thus, Mnjm (which means ‘mining’ in Arabic), has gradually overcome the challenge of transforming this waste into a real asset with high monetary and environmental value.
The SwitchMed initiative is funded by the European Union. Its activities benefit 8 countries in the Southern Mediterranean: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia. Through policy development, demonstration activities and networking opportunities, SwitchMed supports and connects stakeholders to scale-up eco and social innovations. The programme supports policy makers, eco-innovative small and medium sized enterprises, industries, start-ups and entrepreneurs in the Southern Mediterranean countries, which have identified job creation and natural resource protection as priority issues that also contribute to their economic stability.
The Switchers is a community of inspiring green entrepreneurs and changemakers in the Mediterranean region. It is also a place where entrepreneurs that share a common passion for the environment can meet. Switchers are green and circular businesses implementing eco-innovative solutions that contribute to sustainable and fair consumption and production models. They are active in a variety of fields, such as sustainable farming, green construction, sustainable textiles and cosmetics, eco-tourism, renewable energy, or waste management.