G-Lish is a social enterprise dedicated to bringing about social change in Africa by providing sustainable income sources to women and youth, as well as helping the environment by recycling waste products and planting trees.
Using a holistic, longterm approach, they sell Bolga Baskets made in Ghana, West Africa that weave colourful recycled waste into beautiful carriers comprising 250 plastic bags and recycled wax-print cloth.
G-Lish (the "G" stands for "generation") uses the tagline “Income Generation, Re-Generation, Next Generation," and operates as a for-profit enterprise that reinvests 100% of its earnings into furthering social aims.
"We’re proud of being the first to realize we can transform pure water plastic bags into twine and turn that realisation into action by weaving them into beautiful objects that have been exhibited in galleries in Australia and the UK, and created life-changing income streams for some of the most marginilised communities in Ghana," G-Lish says. "We threw down the green gauntlet and decided to plant one tree for every basket produced, inspired by Wangari Maathai’s Greenbelt Movement. We plan to double tree planting, year on year, although we hope basket production increases such that tree planting might triple!"
Despite being an emerging field, social enterprise is also a confusing field when it comes to definition. On their website, G-Lish includes a descriptive overview of a social enterprise, noting how it differentiates from traditional for-profit or non-profit enterprises.
"We think the distinction could better be explained using the terms 'for shareholder profit' and 'for community profit' since the distinction is about who receives the profits, not whether profits are made or not," the G-Lish explains.
Honoured with a SEED Initiative Award in 2010 for their social entrepreneurs who are "working towards a greener economy also tackle poverty, marginalisation and social exclusion,” G-Lish has a triple bottom line that includes profit, social impact and environmental sustainability.
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Recycled African Bags
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Colorful G-Lish Baskets Create Jobs and Clean up Ghana
Published: Nov 22, 2011 • References: g-lishfoundation.org