Malala Fitiavana Ratsimandresy was only 19 years old when she became an idol for the Malagasy youth of tomorrow. Indeed in 2016, the young girl created the Ecologic Bag, becoming the youngest Malagasy entrepreneur and making a whole generation dream. A look back at his incredible career.
Youth First, a springboard for youth
Malala Fitiavana Ratsimandresy was a teenager like any other, but she dreamed big. Indeed, independent and determined, she has set her mind on having her own income and, why not, her own business. A former Girl Scout, she attended Youth First in 2015 and presented her project. The event brings together several young girls and trains them to become leaders in their everyday lives. Above all, Youth First allows them to strengthen their skills and receive training that will be essential for what lies ahead: a life as an entrepreneur.
Indeed, the event does not only bring together these young girls to train them, it is also a springboard for the young entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Participants must present a project at the end of the event and the most deserving will be funded. Malala Fitiavana Ratsimandresy’s did not reach the coveted top spot that year. Far from demotivating her, this defeat, which she took philosophically, pushed her to cling to her dream with more determination. Towards the end of 2015, the Malagasy government banned the use of plastic bags. This measure, as unexpected as it is controversial, represents for the young Malala Fitiavana Ratsimandresy an opportunity not to be missed.
Ecologic Bag Malagasy, an alternative to plastic bags
The ban on plastic bags in the Big Island has not necessarily pleased everyone. However, while some wanted to lift this prohibition, Malala Fitiavana Ratsimandresy surfed on the wave and proposed her Ecologic Bag. Indeed, what could be more obvious than the paper bag to replace the plastic bag? It is biodegradable and environmentally friendly, making it a suitable alternative. Our young entrepreneur is trying to perfect her Ecologic Bag, which she makes herself, from recycled materials. This is called Upcycling. This involves recovering unused products and reusing them, giving them a second life, better than the first. Malala Fitiavana Ratsimandresy transforms a few scraps of kraft paper into shopping bags. Orders are starting to come in.
The popularity of the young entrepreneur’s Ecologic Bag is reaching new heights. The orders being too numerous for her to manage alone or with the help of her family, Malala Fitiavana Ratsimandresy starts to hire. She takes young students or housewives under her wing, offering them a source of income. The production is done in an artisanal way and the young woman becomes from one day to the next a particularly busy company manager. The story of his unusual journey has indeed reached social networks and, not surprisingly, has created a buzz. Malala Fitiavana Ratsimandresy is referred to as an icon. She became a model for the Malagasy youth and the articles devoted to her made the rounds of social networks. Everywhere, the story of this young Madagascan girl, barely nineteen years old, who is already an entrepreneur, is told.
Ecologic Bag Malagasy thus becomes a model of success for Malagasy youth and a ray of hope for future generations. Malala Fitiavana Ratsimandresy proved that a problem can be a solution if you look at it from a new angle. Many people have focused on the disadvantages of banning the use of plastic bags in Madagascar. Few saw this as an opportunity. In the Big Island, there is indeed a lot to be done and Ecologic Bag Malagasy and its manager have proven that these things can be done.