Zymal Umer, a 9 year old girl belonging to Sargodha – Pakistan – is believed to be the youngest entrepreneur in the world.
Zymal is the founder of Zee bags, which is an innovative up cycling enterprise that turns old newspapers into beautiful biodegradable bags. She told BBC news that about 3 years ago she went to a local market where there was way too much pollution caused due to plastic bags and sewage problems. She was disheartened at this sight, and wished to do something for the country that would no longer contribute to pollution.
Pollution in Pakistan:
According to a report in the Lancet Medical Journal, there are about 9 million lives that were lost around the world in the year 2015. While in Pakistan, about 311,000 people lost their lives due to pollution.
Pakistan’s Environmental Pollution Department has reported that 20 million tonnes of solid waste is generated each year. There is no policy or frame work devised to tackle this problem, and it keeps increasing 2.4% with every passing year.
“When I look at all of it, I feel very bad because if people just took one moment to think about what they are doing, then maybe they would think twice and our environment would be better,” said Zymal.
Zymal hopes that her initiative will gain the attention of the government, and they’ll take the required steps to tackle the problem of pollution which is increasing annually in Pakistan.
The recognition Zymal Umer has received:
Zymal made her first bags and sold them to her cousins, but now, hundreds of her bags are being sold. You can view her complete story here:
In 2015, Pakistan’s youngest entrepreneur Zymal was honoured with the Prince Abdul Aziz Award for Children Pioneer/Ecopreneur Award in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She also received The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) Youngest Entrepreneurship Award and was awarded a gold medal from the Pakistan Federal Secretary of Education.
Zymal also intends to start a mobile app and will launch a website soon in order to raise more awareness. Today her business, after 3 years, is worth 5 Lakhs. She hopes to widen her horizons by reaching out not only to Pakistan, but to the entire world with her message to save the planet and their environment.