Gavin is a ‘recyclist’ with the motto “from waste to use”. He is the founder of Goyala Glass Mart, a glass recycling business aimed at empowering Uganda through glass art. A father of three children from Mbale, Uganda, Gavin saw glass waste was becoming hazardous around his community. With a passion of art and a vision of how glass can be transformed into various pieces, Gavin founded Goyala Glass Mart in 2012. Individual economic stability was not the aim of the business, the vision was to firstly, help the community problem and secondly to attract tourists and bring revenue for the country. Gavin is passionate about growing Uganda, its potential and attributes the growth to Uganda’s artists.
Nick is a consultant based in London and works for a social investment intermediary that partner with government, investors and the third sector to develop sustainable and effective models for social change. With such a background, Nick was attracted to Grow Movement’s principles and its growing potential after a referral from a friend.
The main challenges were purchasing a furnace, gas prices, gaining more customers, transportation and payments. Nick helped in giving Gavin information about microfinance institutions that could help finance the furnace. However, this route proved to be challenging and with the support of his friends and family, Gavin was able to purchase a furnace. This meant he could expand his business from glass etching/engraving to glass blowing. The problem of gas prices was overcome by making more profit. Nick advised Gavin to keep full records of cashflow from selling products, buying material, employee wages, etc. Payments from customers (including hotels and shops) was a challenge that hindered the business’ cashflow. To overcome this, Nick advised Gavin to invoice customers from point of delivery with time frames that the invoices would need to be paid by. Further, overdue fee for unpaid invoices were incorporated and keeping track of invoices was also proposed.
With Nick’s help, Gavin has 25 employees (including 20 art designers) that have improved their lives. Art students from Makereke University, Chambogo University and Uganda Christian University have come to Goyala Glass Mart for their research projects.
“Working with Nick has had a personal impact as I have learnt a lot, discovered more, expanded my business; my skills and I have come out now marketable. I wouldn’t have attained the funds without Nick’s help in providing knowledge through methods. These methods have helped Goyala grow into a glass movement in Uganda by growing people and their passions. What started as 1 became 25 workers, we are growing and moving! Grow Movement has helped in providing a platform for the business to grow, for new business partner relationships.”
“I worked with Gavin for around a year and it was a really enjoyable project and Gavin was fantastic to work with- enthusiastic, ambitious and passionate about making an impact in his local community.”