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Our3Q – Minka, Philippines

Mark – founder of Minkaa social enterprise which sells and promotes the use of biodegradable toothbrushes made of bamboo as an alternative to conventional toothbrushes made of hard plastic. 


Q1: What do you appreciate yourself in the business mainly for?

Hard to say…  I’ve been invited to speak in some collages and events. It’s always amazing because people are really interested, they like the idea and want to know more themselves as well as educate more people on that issue. For me it’s a good accomplishment, gives me the chance to reach more people. Another success would be to be sold in mayor retailers. 


Q2: What is the biggest challenge for you now?

Bamboo toothbrush is a new concept for everyone. People are used to plastic, they don’t know if they want to put bamboo in their mouth. A big percent of people who actually buy our toothbrush are those who are just curious about it, but how to make them to buy it again?


Q3: What advice do you have for yourself in this situation?

I need more big clients, like hotels for example. I try to convince some of them to go green. They throw away so much plastic every day considering the toothbrushes their customers use. For an hotel with 200 rooms… it’s really a lot of plastic per month. I try to explain them that, give numbers, show the impact on environment. I already have few clients in the hotel industry, but I want to reach out more. I’m also trying to get more funds. Impact Hub [co-working space for those who want to make a change] has been very helpful for that, few months ago we made a presentation here to reach out investors. 


Would you like to add something else?

A lot of people ask me why toothbrush. And I ask: why not? I think this product works also because it’s so unusual. 


The questions were asked on our behalf by Anna and Andrea from How to (ex) change the world.


Manila, Philippines, 16th March, 2016

ID: 037/100

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