The endeavor of the month is “Mamut”, leaded by the brothers Manuel and Antonio Laredo and Ronald Gonzales. Mamut is a social business developed in Bolivia, that recycles useless tires and transforms them into damping floors. Since its creation, Mamut has been getting off the street 45,000 useless tires combating the negative impact they have. This project won the “High Impact Endeavor” category on TIC Americas 2015.
“We are a group of young people that look at the useless tires as a resource, not as trash. Thus, in 2013 we developed, with young Bolivian engineers, damping floors for athletes and child eco-parks, for the security of the children.”
Bolivia imports more than 1,000,000 tires per year, which after use, go to the streets. This tires can spread diseases like Zika and Denge, since the mosquitoes grow in water accumulations inside the tires. Mamut identified a public health issue and developed this innovative and high social impact product. These young Bolivians also identified that children and athletes play and practice in insecure surfaces, and this is the way they combined a solution for both needs: getting off the streets the useless tires and transform them into a product that satisfies children and athletes needs.
The leader of the project, Manuel Laredo, explains that the main difference about their product over others, is that Mamut damping floors have generated safe places across Bolivia for children and athletes.” “Actually we have headquarters in La Paz, Cochabamba, and Santa Cruz, selling more than 15.000 m2. We have impact in more than 50,000 users; create jobs for 20 young people, 27 years old is the average age of our employees and half of them are women.
These characteristics made Mamut the winner of the 2015 TIC Americas in the “High Impact Endeavor” category. This social project has been successful in raising awareness about tire recycling as an income for recyclers, as well as achieving a better life quality for users and the Bolivian society at large.
YABT asked Manuel about in the moment he decided to be an entrepreneur and this is what he shared: “I always wanted to create a life project that was economically sustainable, with a high impact in my country. That is why at the time I was studying my master’s degree on Polymers and Biopolymers in Spain, I was thinking how to use my new knowledge to benefit the society. I figured out that I didn’t want to work for big companies without really knowing what the benefits of my work are.”
It is important to know that Mamut has developed the chemical formula and the parameters of the process through the knowledge of its leader Manuel Laredo, who has accomplished with his team the generation of a high quality product. “If this knowledge would had been brought to another country, the project wouldn’t had been viable” said the young Bolivian.
The Mamut´s business model has applied innovation throughout the development chain. It was born as an idea in 2013 and it was capable of transforming a technical idea into a green business model with utilities. In order to achieve this, they created strategic alliances with the Bisa Bank, which provided them the initial risk capital (only one in Bolivia); Innova Bolivia, that validated and keeps following up on Mamut´s innovation; and the Cochabamba Town Hall, which accepted the challenge of generating pilot eco-parks that are now a constant requirement of the society. Transforming Cochabamba in a sustainable vision city. “In Bolivia, we are validating the entrepreneurial and innovative methodology, that will led private and public organizations to further support youth” shared with us Antonio Laredo, endeavor partner.
“I believe that the best accomplishment as entrepreneur is the impact of your project. Many times, I even get surprised about the social and environmental benefits, that Mamut has achieved in society in such a short time. The biggest satisfaction that I have is the creation of opportunities for our workers to grow and improve their life quality. The project, aims to empower young Bolivians and youth from other countries to believe in themselves, that the creation of high impact projects with sustainability in our countries is possible” said Manuel.
“For Mamut the TIC Americas validation was the most important. Being recognized at an international contest boosted our project allowing us to access to new investment opportunities, that is more valuable than the money award. The TIC Americas platform is a real space where the entrepreneurs meet new friends that have the same life vision and it trains us in different areas, allowing us open our eyes to unbelievable opportunities” said Antonio.
Antonio metioned as well that thanks to his participation in the NexLinks Mission in Washington DC organized by YABT, they fortified their commitment to work in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, specially in the creation of sustainable cities, industries, innovation, and infrastructure, at the same time as bolstering sustainable production and consumption. Thanks to this experience, today they lead the project “My Safe EkoPark”, where they empower the Bolivian municipalities to use recycled products to provide safe recreational spaces to the users.
This visionary young entrepreneur affirms that the short-term objective of Mamut is to generate impact on 1,000,000 Bolivians and share that impact with the entire region. “We do not want to move trash from one country to another; we want to apply our technology across Latin America”.
The Mamut team members work with the commitment of transforming this world in a sustainable planet. This motivates them to keep working in trash revalorization, the creation of work opportunities for the Bolivian youth, and the development of a sustainable and friendly market environment.
For more information about Mamut, please visit: