While the onus is on each one of us to make Grenada a greener and more sustainable nation, Mark Wilson, 28-year-old CEO of Earth Wise Recycling, has founded a business that makes the process that little bit easier by paying people for materials that may have otherwise ended up in the landfill. We spoke to Mark about his background, his venture and the learning he’s gained along his path to success.
Where did you grow up and how would you describe your formative years?
I was born in Grenada and grew up on the island. I spent four years in New York City, where I achieved a BSc in Economics from St. John’s University. During this time, I was an avid tennis player and represented Grenada numerous times. I’m a very social character and a party lover.
How difficult has it been to turn people on to the idea of recycling in Grenada?
I must say that it has not been very difficult to start up in Grenada, however legislation change is imperative for the matter of recycling to be more diverse. Currently I recycle non-ferrous metals, but to recycle plastics and papers etc due to economies of scale, this activity will have to be subsidized by the government, which has not been keen to do so. I think more support and recognition for the functions of my company is needed.
What led you to leave your comfortable bank job to become an entrepreneur?
At the time, what led me to leave my “comfortable job” at the bank is the fact that I had to give my idea 100% attention and it would not have been fair to myself, my idea or the bank (Grenada Co-op Bank) if I had stayed and not devoted myself 100%.
What do you wish you knew at the time you made the decision that you now know?
I do not approach life by looking in the past, it can distract you from what you can control and the mission that one is on. Every day is a learning experience. I never lose, I gain experience.
Who are some of the people who’ve helped you to get where you are today?
My parents have definitely been instrumental in my life. Other people who have helped me along the way are Kenny Forrester of Kenny’s Trucking. He has always had my back during this time. I must make mention of business partner, Alberton Richelieu of St. Lucia. Without these people my company would not be a success today. Furthermore, The Grenada Cooperative Bank Ltd has been very supportive during the 3+ years of Earth Wise Recycling Grenada Inc.