News | GreenPad Enterprise is December's Featured Business of the Month
09 December 2016
Zak Ajia won a Shell LiveWIRE Smarter Future Award for his business GreenPad Enterprise, which he started after graduating, in December 2015.
GreenPad Enterprise is an energy and environmental management company that helps private and public sector organisations to improve their green credentials and resource efficiency, and save money. The business currently offers a one-off product for businesses to procure and use to improve their green credentials.
sustainability has gained prominence all over the world and requires us all to
pitch in. GreenPad's smart products will help people, communities and
organisations to be part of the solution by helping them to reduce energy
wastage, lower negative environmental impacts and improve environmental
Shell LiveWIRE sat down with Zak to catch
up with him and to see what's next for his award-winning business, GreenPad
What was the inspiration behind GreenPad Enterprise?Current environmental and energy issues such as increasing energy demand and climate change served as drivers for the establishment of my business. I believe I can assist businesses to become greener, cleaner and smarter.
How did you get into entrepreneurship? Did you always
want to go into business for yourself?
I'm passionate about sustainability and have been involved in several sustainability action projects. Most of these projects were short-term or one-off projects with limited opportunities to provide continual assistance to end users. Considering the sustainability challenges that we face in today's world, I feel that improving sustainability in any setting will require a continual approach and this can be better achieved through smart and green innovations. Innovation and entrepreneurship are closely linked to each other, thus the establishment of GreenPad Enterprise.
What challenges did you face when setting up your business?
I faced some challenges as a start-up. A significant challenge I faced was that being a start-up meant that I had to operate with limited resources and do more with less, and this was challenging at inception. However, this challenge has made me more economical and improved my resource management skills.
What is your proudest achievement with the business?
Our biggest achievement is that we have moved from the initial stages of research, analysis and screening to the full product development of my ideas. To have progressed to this stage is something that I'm proud of.
You won a Shell LiveWIRE Award back in 2015, how have things changed for you since then?
Winning the award has taken the business to the next level. I have been able to use feedback to refine my ideas. Also, we have moved to the product development stage. We have also generated media coverage and widened our networks. More so, the unreleased products are gaining recognition and the business is currently a finalist in the Business Green Technology Awards.
What’s next for GreenPad Enterprise?
Using our products to assist customers to become cleaner and greener and to provide maximum satisfaction to end users is next on our agenda.
Entrepreneurs drive innovation. How do you think this can be used to help create a smarter future?
Societal issues such as climate change, energy poverty, pollution and so on constitute a threat to our civilisation. For these threats to be curbed, new ideas have to be unleashed. I feel entrepreneurs and innovation are closely linked as entrepreneurs develop innovations which can then be used to solve societal problems. I think entrepreneurs can be used to create a smarter future through the development of smart innovations.
What role do you think entrepreneurs will play in the transition to a low carbon society?
I feel entrepreneurs will play a positive role in the transition to a low carbon society. Entrepreneurs in various sectors of the economy are now developing low carbon ideas to address societal issues and I feel this development is good because it will make the society more eco-friendly. Environmental responsibility is a global cause that requires us all to pitch in, and by conserving resources, and minimising our impact on climate change, we can work together to help.
What advice would you give to aspiring young entrepreneurs?
My advice for them or anyone wanting to venture into entrepreneurship is that they should have a genuine interest in it, have belief and confidence in the entrepreneurial ideas generated, and work very hard.
Got a Smart Idea for a Business?
Do you have a smart business idea that will provide a
solution to the world’s future transport, food, energy, or natural
resource challenges, or make our urban environments cleaner and more
sustainable places to work and live in? If so you can apply online now for funding!