Youssef Chaqor is the general manager of Kilimanjaro Environment, a regional leader in environmental innovation, operating in the collection and recycling of used cooking into biodiesel.
Youssef undertook his first leadership position as a young boy in a small Moroccan village. His father died when he was ten, leaving him to support his mother in raising and providing for two younger siblings. For four years, he starred on Al Qanat Assaghira (“The Small Canal”), a Sunday morning show for kids, but decided to walk away from his early celebrity to study industrial engineering at top Moroccan engineering university Ecole Mohammadia d’Ingénieurs. Upon graduating in 1998, he joined Unilever and held several positions there, including International Audit Manager (Morocco), Logistics Manager (Morocco), and Trade Marketing Manager (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya), during which time he restructured the logistics department in the middle of a major expansion. After Unilever, Youssef worked at Savola, a large Saudi Arabian edible oil company, first as a Sales Director and later as Deputy General Manager. During his time at both companies, Youssef deepened his knowledge of fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) distribution channels and honed his logistics and sales skills.
Youssef left Savola in 2008 to become a social entrepreneur. Concerned by the triple financial, food, and oil crises, he was drawn to second generation biofuel made from waste, rather than food products, which encouraged sustainable waste disposal and reduced pressure on food production. In early 2008, Youssef climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and relished the triumph of persevering through doubt and difficulties. He soon founded Kilimanjaro Environment, hoping the name would carry over similar notions of commitment and drive. He immediately began collecting UCO (Used Cooking Oil) for biodiesel producers, which he financed through freelance consulting on FMCG distribution, marketing, and sales. After several months, Youssef sold his first shipment of UCO to an Italian company Project Energy and struck up a strategic partnership early the next year with petrochemical aggregator AOT trading, a Swiss subsidiary of Astra Transcor Energy. This relationship quickly evolved and helped the company triple revenue in the first year alone.