ORIBAGS idea was sparked in reaction to the Ugandan Government’s ban on plastic bags in 2007. Our Founder, Orikiriza Rusia, then still a first year student at Makerere University, saw a market opportunity to create environmentally friendly packaging using an innovative business model that upcycles bio-waste materials, creates jobs for women and youth, and uses zero carbon production processes. Rusia started translating her idea into reality through the business incubation programme at the Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI). In 2009, ORIBAGS was born.
Taking traditional knowledge from her own family, developing it and engaging particularly with youth and local women,Rusia established ORIBAGS with a focus on community benefits using a holistic approach that is innovative and responds very much to the prevailing circumstances in the community.
“After entering Makerere University, I started making and selling handmade jewelry using the skills my mother had taught me. I made the jewelry from waste paper collected from university offices. I earned enough money to support myself and to help my parents pay school fees for my siblings. In 2007, the Government of Uganda banned the importing, sale and manufacture of plastic bags. Many people did not have appropriate alternatives to plastic bags. I discovered that the waste paper I was using to make jewelry could also be transformed into paper bags.”– Rusia Orikiriza, Founder
As ORIBAGS evolved through idearation and piloting, it became evident that technical support was critical. In 2009,Davis Bariho joined ORIBAGS founding team bringing in his technical expertise for business development. Davis an Engineer by profession, resource efficiency and sustainability specialist brought in his eco technologies and business development expertise that reshaped the ORIBAGS business model. Later the company attracted other young men and women to support its business development and provide labor for incoming activities. Learn more about the team.
ORIBAGS has been fortunate to collaborate with strategic partners to deliver its eco-friendly products and services to its clients. As the company evolved, gathering different resources together and navigating various challenges, collaboration and partnership was key to our success. In 2009 collaboration was established with the Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI) that supported ORIBAGS through business development and research through UIRI’s business incubation programme.ORIBAGS has since emerged as one of the most successful incubates at UIRI. Later in 2010, ORIBAGS became the first Uganda Enterprise to win the UNEP, UNDP and IUCN SEED award as an exceptional startup and environmental enterprise. This award came with valuable technical support that led to the development of ORIBAGS first business plan. We have since established partnerships with our customers, suppliers and other strategic partners that have contributed to our growth. We treasure partners that share our values with strong commitment- creating greater business value through profit ,people and planet. Would you like to partner with ORIBAGS, please contact us!
After Product development and business incubation at the Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI), ORIBAGS products underwent full market testing across Uganda and neighboring countries in the East African region. The market testing phase demonstrated strong success with actual orders and inquiries for the available stock being beyond the capacity of ORIBAGS and market acceptance of the products that has since seen a significant rise in demand. ORIBAGS later established its own home at Buyala 20km from Kampala city centre- that houses its factory, a recycling plant and office facilities to meet the demand for the increasing packaging needs in the country. Are you a retailer interested in trading ORIBAGS Products? We’d love to meet you!