A 'stamp of credibility'
Nigerian Chinenye Justin Nwaogwugwu was shortlisted for the inaugural Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation in 2015. His innovation is an environmentally-friendly, multi-surface cleaner.
We interviewed Chinenye to learn more about his innovation, his successes and his tips for fellow innovators.
Can you tell us about your innovation?
Our innovation is MACJAMES® MMDC-11 Multisurface Degreaser/Cleaner, a biodegradable, environmentally-friendly, affordable multi-surface cleaning solution. It emulsifies and cleans organic and inorganic dirt, such as oil, rust, and soot, from all washable household and industrial surfaces – like metal, wood, rubber and leather - without damaging the surface, user or environment.
What is your unique selling point?
Our inspiration for the MACJAMES® MMDC-11 Multisurface Degreaser/Cleaner was the lack of a non-harmful and non-toxic cleaner in the Nigerian market. Daily cleaning is required for many industrial processes, yet most degreasers contain petroleum distillates and organic solvents. These are damaging to the environment, through ground, water and air contamination, and the user as frequent use can harm the nervous system, and lead to infertility, cancers, seizure and even death due to overexposure.
Our innovation solves serious health and environmental challenges. It is also time and cost-effective as it can be used on any water-safe surface – many other cleaners available are surface-specific. These innovative elements have driven our success.
What successes have you had?
Our degreaser has been approved for household and industrial use, including in the Nigerian oil and gas industry. It is widely used in Nigeria, and in 2017 we began exporting to Ghana through a deal with a distribution company in Accra.
Establishing a subsidiary and partnership company, Macjames Ikiomoye Technologies Limited, was a major achievement. It has improved our access to funding and corporate customers and helped us to meet increased demand and plan for further expansion. Our participation in the Africa Prize was what initially attracted the partners to us.
How did the Africa Prize impact your business?
The Africa Prize training taught us to make the most of our available human and material resources. Also, being shortlisted for the Africa Prize was like gaining a ‘stamp of credibility’. In a sector previously dominated by imports, it raised awareness of our innovation. Our targeted partners and customers began to trust our business, and we built new partnerships and connections.
What one tip would you share with your fellow innovators?
We all have weaknesses and gaps in our businesses. As innovators and entrepreneurs, we must search for partners to bridge these gaps, to allow us to explore new opportunities and make greater impact.
Do you have any innovations in the pipeline?
Yes! Our latest innovation is SaferEx-Multiaction Water Purifier. It can purify unsafe water by disinfection, coagulation, sedimentation and clarification, taste, odour and colour-removal, in a single application and unit process.
Visit the website to learn more about MACJAMES® products.
Get detailed product information about the MACJAMES® MMDC-11 Multisurface Degreaser/Cleaner, or Justin’s latest innovation, the SaferEx -Multiaction Water Purifier.