PowerSix Investment – From Deforestation to Environmental Rehabilitation
Paulina N. Alfeus is the founder and managing director of PowerSix Investment, which is a business wholly owned by 6 Namibian youth, who are turning trash into treasure. She is a boiler maker by profession and the business was founded after trading from NIMT.
A sudden change happened in her village, as it went from forest to nothing. What used to be home form many birds and animals, became a desert. Many trees were cut down as timber to be exported for the manufacturing of furniture. The biodiversity was gone because there were no more habitats for them to reside in. It is not a thing of the past, because it is still continuing. Every day, timber is harvested to be exported. Hence, Paulina felt that something needs to be done.
She and her team have decided to upcycle oil barrels, that found at most landfill sites to make furniture. Their furniture is unique, affordable and fits the environmental conditions in Namibia. According to her, exporting timber for furniture production and importing the furniture back in the country is not smart, because the cost of buying becomes more. Value addition needs to be done in the country to help revive the economy of Namibia and Africa at large.
Paulina has acquired funding in 2019, from NCRST, which was used to purchase machines to expand the business activities. With that equipment, they will be able to incorporate training of learners on how to weld, so that they can be groomed well for the future.
She was the overall winner of the National Innovative CUP and had to go and represent Namibia in Denmark last year. She was also invited by at one of the biggest stores, IKEA to attend an innovation conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.
The future plans of PowerSix furniture foresees different outlets in the country and a training academy that will be providing welding classes to learners at schools.
They also give free semi-skilled training to the youth, and try to get them a paying job to other companies since they are a startup and can’t afford to pay new employees for now.
Additionally, they offer vocational trainings for students, and for pensioners they do their jobs for free as long as they cater to the materials and labor is free.