Testimonial: Closing the Loop

Even though you might have seen more of the participants of the New Business Challenge, the companies involved also play a pivotal role in the program. How is it for the companies to participate? One of the companies this year was Closing the Loop, who actually participated for a second (!) time. 

Closing the Loop offers users and sellers of phones an easy way to make their device material-neutral and waste free. It collects scrap phones on behalf of customers, hereby offsetting their phone, on a One for One basis. This year they participated with a business case on how to upscale their collection system of scrap phones in Ghana. Reinhardt Smit from the Netherlands and Lebene Ledi in Ghana supported the participants in their quest to the best solution for this business case.

Participating for second time
Closing the Loop is the first company who participated for a second time in the New Business Challenge, why were you motivated to join again? Lebene explains that ‘it’s an exciting program and we knew what it entailed because it was already our second time. Joining another time made us actually feel special. This confirms that what we are doing in Ghana is noteworthy.’ Reinhardt adds that Closing the Loop also participated ‘because it’s an opportunity to get some out-of-the-box ideas and solutions for some of the problems we have with our business. The experience 2 years ago was good, and with limited effort from us, the participants were able to come up with good ideas that were worthwhile for us to pursue.’

Fresh perspective
So how was it for them to work with the young talents? ‘I absolutely loved the interactions. They provide a fresh perspective. This was very valuable and made us look differently at our day-to-day issues’ shares Lebene enthusiastically. According to Reinhardt, ‘the advantage of the NBC is that the participants are still fresh and have very little preconceptions about what can and can’t be done. They can think objectively about the problem and don’t necessarily see the hurdles and obstacles we might see, which enables them to be more innovative in their solutions.’

We are very curious; how far are you now with the proposed solutions Reinhardt? ‘We are already trying to implement one of the groups’ ideas, and we are looking into trying the second one as well. We don’t know whether their solutions will actually work, but they were good enough to warrant trying it, and they were things that we had not thought of yet.

We would like to thank Closing the Loop for their efforts and enthusiasm while participating in the New Business Challenge 2019.