Germany Archive

Rheinisch Westphälische Technische Hochschule Aachen; Aachen, Germany

The Rheinisch Westphälische Technische Hochschule Aachen student’s project, reBubble, aims to significantly and sustainably reduce the amount of soap waste produced by hotels.

The team will create a self-sustaining enterprise that collects and recycles discarded soap, at no cost to the participating hotels, while still generating a profit and creating jobs. The project will collaborate with Lebenshilfe Aachen Werkstätten & Service GmbH, an organization that provides employment opportunities for people with disabilities, to generate additional employment through the soap recycling process. The aim is for the clients of the organization to benefit from their achievement as they create their products from start to finish and generate their own income.

University of Technology Bergakademie Freiberg; Freiberg, Germany

The University of Technology Bergakademie Freiberg team is closely collaborating with the small village of Hetzdorf to strengthen their local market. With only one butcher shop within walking distance for many of the 950 residents, shopping for basic goods can be difficult. A survey distributed to more than 300 residents revealed that 97.7 per cent saw potential for improving their shopping options and 92.4 per cent were interested in the establishment of a new village shop.

What’s more, 62.4 per cent were interested in joining a cooperative to financially support the shop. As of December 2016, the cooperative has an established board and 86 members, with 40 per cent of their required capital achieved. The group is currently recruiting residents to contribute to the shop’s design and business planning. To strengthen village-wide support of the shop, the team is also creating a customer loyalty program with bonuses for returning shoppers.

The ultimate goal is to open the shop by October 2017 to improve access to daily product needs for this small village.