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This entrepreneur is on a mission to clean up his town

VSO/Justin Spray

Paul's volunteering to clean his local hospital and streets for free and developed into a garbage collection, cleaning and composting business. VSO training has enabled him to develop the business commercially, and now he's going from strength to strength. 

At just 23, Paul Myovelah has achieved more than some people achieve in a lifetime.

Paul came from small beginnings, starting off cleaning his local hospital and streets for free, to build up some work experience.

Little by little Paul became known for his cleaning services. He started collecting rubbish from people’s homes, and cleaning homes and offices and joined a local enterprise hub, Rlabs.

Two years ago, this hub put Paul forward to take part in marketing and finance training run provided by VSO’s Tanzania Local Enterprise Development (T-LED) project. So far, this work has supported 759 small and medium enterprises, and created 1150 new jobs.

“VSO training taught me how to keep a cashbook, where I write my income and expenses," says Paul, who is now unstoppable.

VSO-supported entrepreneur on a mission to clean up his town
Paul is pictured here gardening, just one of his many businesses. VSO/Justin Spray

Paul is not just a cleaner but a gardener, with the vision to create a beautiful environment for everyone in his town.

In a town where recycling isn't always top of the agenda, Paul's business is making sure people are living cleaner and healthier lives.

Pauls business activities include garbage collection, composting, cleaning, landscaping and even a café. His success has meant he can now support his mother, and employs several family members.

Despite his success, Paul isn’t stopping any time soon:

“I’ve got big ambitions for my business. I’ve still got a long way to go to achieve my aims but I’m confident I will be successful.

Paul Myovelah, 23, pictured here on his tricycle that he uses to collect rubbish. VSO/Justin Spray

Entrepreneurial spirit: Paul wants to buy a second tricycle so he can collect more rubbish and increase his customer base.

“The support networks that VSO have set up mean that I’ve been able to help and encourage other local entrepreneurs. That means a great deal to me.”

Paul is spreading his cleaning message, running conservation sessions with 80 schools and planting 4,000 trees in the process.

“My aim is to spread the spirit of cleaning to the community. I always ask myself, how can I be innovative to conserve nature?”

“Many big cities and towns fail to have a system for collecting rubbish. I can see that in ten years, Iringa will be a big city with more people.

“I want people to slowly come to value the cleaning service, to separate their rubbish so it can be recycled. My dream for my business is to build a good rubbish collecting system in Iringa, and maybe across the whole of Tanzania."