Bicycle taxi idea earns 22 yr old entrepreneur Washington trip

Written by  Gladys Nthenda

At 22, Roy Makolosi has all the reasons to smile, as he together with another youth are scheduled to travel to Washington DC next week after emerging winners following a blog contest introduced by the World Bank last year.

Makolosi: Explored the prospect of using new markets to get sustainable employment Makolosi: Explored the prospect of using new markets to get sustainable employment

As a way of motivating young people to be industrious, the platform was used to share ideas on how they can create jobs in Malawi.

Speaking after being announced as one of the winners at the Youth Jobs Fair in Lilongwe on Tuesday, Makolosi said his idea stood out in the competition because of the grassroot approach he used which didn’t require massive amount of financing to implement.

He explained that he thought of something that currently isn’t working effectively and explored the prospect of using new markets to get sustainable employment.

The Chancellor College graduate noted that bicycle taxis commonly known as “Kabanza” are affordable to people as it only requires about K40 000 (about $55) to buy a second hand bicycle.

Besides ferrying people from place to place, he pointed out that the taxis can be used in a different way hence his partnering with local supermarkets to introduce new services which aren’t currently offered.

“Things like home delivery and payment pick-ups, meal deliveries straight to our offices; these are all possible with the bicycle taxi, but currently they’re not being utilized but with some small tweets these are all quite possible,” said Makolosi.

Apart from cutting costs on time and travel associated with shopping; he was upbeat the initiative will meet customer satisfaction as they would not need to travel to supermarkets on their own.

He stated that in the long run, this would create revenue and sustainable jobs.

“The jobs will be sustainable because they will create new revenue if they are done well; the revenue streams can be sustained and these jobs can be there not just for the short term but for the long term,” explained the 22 year old.

Part of the audience ath the Youth Jobs Fair in Lilongwe

He developed a business model for the delivery system through a partnership called Plan B where he works with a friend who has 5 taxis.

The former Kamuzu Academy student spoke of his excitement on his impending trip to America saying he looks forward to experiencing a different culture which in his view will promote his future undertakings.

“It’s given me belief that the youth can have real impact in this country and we get noticed for our ideas. We have a seat at the table with people older than us and that’s really encouraging to me that they care enough about our ideas to push us forward,” beamed Makolosi.

Two of the four winners will travel to America whilst the remaining runners up have been given internships at the Bank’s Malawi office.

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