This week, 26-year-old Johanan Dujon, CEO and Founder of Algas Organics, was announced as one of the top young entrepreneurs of the Forbes Under 30 2020 List, an annual list of elite brilliant minds released by the global media company, Forbes. Dujon was listed among 29 other entrepreneurs in the Manufacturing and Industry category, which features 30 young changemakers aged under 30 who are “creating the products, methods and materials of tomorrow,” according to Forbes’ website. In a press release, Forbes expressed that out of 15,000 nominees, only 600 young people were chosen – equivalent to a 4% acceptance rate. There are 20 categories in total.
The Forbes Under 30 2020 cohort includes celebrities like 15-year-old Marsai Martin, the youngest executive producer in Hollywood, known for ‘Little,’ and twin brothers Dylan and Cole Sprouse who starred on Disney Channel’s ‘The Suite Life of Zack and Cody’ and its sequel ‘The Suite Life on Deck.’
Algas Organics is the Caribbean’s first indigenous agriculture biotechnology company to combat the invasive sargassum seaweed that has affected many beaches across the Caribbean and Southern Mexico. The St. Lucian biotech company develops the plants into useful products, like crop fertilizers and pesticides, which are sold to local, regional, and international customers.
Algas Organics has worked with local government agencies, such as the National Conservation Authority (NCA), in St. Lucia, to tackle the sargassum deluge. The NCA has provided Algas Organics with over 160,000 lbs of sargassum seaweed in the past and maintains a close relationship with the biotech company. In May and June of this year, the NCA collaborated with other Government bodies to train 120 individuals on how to correctly collect sargassum seaweed and dispose of or prepare it for manufacturing. Algas Organics then converts the contents collected into useful products.
According to Forbes, Algas Organics has processed two million pounds of plants since 2015, and in 2020 the company could earn $2 million in revenue.