SHE – Sustainable Health Enterprise

SHE (Sustainable Health Enterprises) is a Rwandan basedsocial enterprise with the mission of investing in people and ideas that are typically overlooked (and often taboo) to drive social and economic change.

SHE addresses the issue of girls’ and women’s lack of access to affordable menstrual pads, causing significant costs to their health, education, productivity, and dignity. According to UNICEF, on any given day, over 800 million women between the ages of 15 to 49 do not attend school or work during their period, and many girls drop out of school after the onset of menstruation. In Rwanda, SHE estimates that the loss in work productivity and schooling has a “blood cost” of up to USD $115 million a year.

Assisted by its partners, SHE developed a patent-pending, mechanical process to make an absorbent from banana fiber. This readily available agro-waste allows the SHE pad to be priced lower than the ones by multinational brands, enabling girls and women to access affordable, eco-friendly pads.

SHE is providing economic opportunities to communities by creating jobs all across the value chain, from the farmer, to the pad assembler, to the pad distributor. As SHE scales up, it will invest in female entrepreneurs to jumpstart their own sustainable and scalable franchise of selling and distributing these locally produced, low-cost, eco-friendly pads.

SHE furthers its model of sustainability through its reliance on local materials, local knowledge, and local labor.

Official website: http://sheinnovates.com/

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Facts and Figures

  • 2 year project
  • 600 banana fibers farmers supplying raw materials
  • 1,200 pads that will be produced each day
  • 3,000 girls will have access to sanitary pads
  • 1,329 students and teachers trained about menstrual hygiene
  • 10 LITERS OF WATER/DAY THANKS TO SHE CUSTOM-BUILT WATER RECYCLING SYSTEM VS. 10.000 LITERS OF A STANDARD PAD COMPANY

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