The Katerva Awards

Founded in 2009 by Meg Wirth—who now serves as chief strategy officer—and Allyson Cote—who stepped down last year from her COO post—Maternova participated in Social Enterprise Greenhouse’s first accelerator program, taking the leap from idea to action after it was “percolating for a long time,” according to Veenam.
https://www.golocalprov.com/business/ri-tech-and-innovation-report-the-katerva-awards

These 5 New Startups Are Turning Heads And Changing Minds

Another household necessity that no one wants to talk about are sanitary pads. Periods are pretty much taboo conversation in most cultures, but Saathi Pads are hoping to change the “yucky” into the “yes!”. Saathi Pads are made from banana fiber, so they’re fully compostable and biodegradable. They also are free from bleaches and perfumes so you can easily say bye bye to that nasty pad rash.
https://feminisminindia.com/2019/04/17/these-5-new-startups-are-turning-heads-and-changing-minds/

Celebrating women innovators

Today, Uganda joins the rest of the world to celebrate the International Women’s Day. The local theme for this year’s celebrations is Empowering Women Through Innovative Approaches to Social Protection; a Pre-requisite for Inclusive and Sustainable Development. Owen Wagabaza brings you profiles of some Ugandan women whose innovations are changing the world for the betterNatalie Bitature, Musana Carts

https://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1495630/celebrating-women-innovators

Ayzh founder Zubaida Bai on the ‘birth kits’ helping women in rural India have hygienic deliveries

Ayzh (pronounced ‘eyes’) is a for-profit venture that is perhaps best known for its JANMA birthing kit. The kit, which is aimed at rural women in areas where healthcare and sanitation are often a low priority, includes the tools necessary to have a hygienic birth in the presence of a doctor or midwife. The expectant mother is given the jute purse after delivery for her own use, which Bai sees as an advocacy tool that furthers the movement for cleaner births.
https://www.firstpost.com/life/ayzh-founder-zubaida-bai-on-the-birth-kits-helping-women-in-rural-india-have-hygienic-deliveries-5236291.html

Why Is Funding a Challenge for Women-Led Agtech Companies?

Based on her experiences and observations she believes “female investors are less likely to invest with a ‘herd mentality’ that I find most investors gravitate towards.” She continued, “I, personally, find women to be more open minded to unique business models that have the potential to resolve larger problems than the same acute problem often chased by multiple investors.”
https://www.precisionag.com/service-providers/business-management/why-is-funding-a-challenge-for-women-led-agtech-companies/

Mapping women hygiene through innovation

Saathi began in 2015, when its co-founders came together on a mission to create fully eco-friendly, compostable sanitary napkins using locally sourced banana fiber from the state of Gujarat, where Saathi is based. Saathi pads are Biodegradable & Compostable, using plant-based materials for the leak-proof outer layers of the napkin. Saathi pads are made with banana fibre because of its highly absorbent properties, and the environmental and social benefits of its supply chain.
https://www.biospectrumindia.com/news/69/11162/mapping-women-hygiene-through-innovation.html

Saving Mothers Announces Innovative Partnership With Maternova, Inc. to Advance Maternal Health

“The partnership with Maternova will enable Saving Mothers to reach a far broader number of pregnant women in need within underserved communities around the world,” stated Dr. Shirazian, “Providing this access will ensure that Saving Mothers can continue its efforts to reduce maternal morbidity rates, bringing us closer to our goal of eradicating preventable death during childbirth within the next decade.”
http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/3653073

How young people are rethinking the future of work

Have you ever thought of an Uber-like platform for recruiting domestic workers? In Malaysia, where the population is aging, countless families rely heavily on the services of domestic workers — a majority of whom are female migrants from other Southeast Asian countries. This resonated with Zenna Law, from Kuala Lumpur, and she created Pink Collar.
http://blogs.worldbank.org/jobs/how-young-people-are-rethinking-future-work

moWoza does the running for traders

Informal trading in the region is not easy — travelling over long distances and across borders to source goods is time-consuming, costly and often dangerous. Yet hundreds of thousands of people in Africa rely on the risks of an informal supply chain to eke out a living and feed their families.
https://mg.co.za/article/2017-03-07-mowoza-does-the-running-for-traders

In Burma, Facebook can be your OB-GYN

For the country’s women, reproductive and sexual health care often remains out of reach – and it’s having deadly consequences. Each year, 2,800 women die due to complications from pregnancy, childbirth and post-natal care.
https://asiancorrespondent.com/2017/05/burma-facebook-can-ob-gyn/#dIvc7zeiTVCxxP7v.97

How safe are sanitary pads in India?

“Contrary to claims, most of what is in the market doesn’t even use cotton. It is mostly wood pulp. Almost all use the same materials, changes are in the form—how it looks and feels versus what materials are used. As for the chemicals used, every company will say that the quantity of chemicals, SAP or chlorine bleach they use will not kill you,” said Sarah McMillan, business development lead at Saathi Pads, a start-up that makes biodegradable sanitary pads.

http://www.livemint.com/Industry/T3XIiwJI31WZuK1IsoUOJL/How-safe-are-sanitary-pads-in-India.html

Mobile Tech Spans Health Gap for Developing World’s Pregnant Women

Developed by IT social enterprise Koe Koe Tech, the app provides comprehensive information to pregnant women from pre-natal to post-natal care. It includes quizzes and daily alerts for the duration of pregnancy and the first three years of the infant’s life.The app helps users find doctors, hospitals, maternity and child supplies. It also provides a chat service where “pregnant women and parents can discuss their issues with peers,” said Koe Koe Tech’s Michael Lwin in an email.

https://blogs.voanews.com/techtonics/2017/03/24/mobile-tech-spans-health-gap-for-developing-worlds-pregnant-women/

Saathi: Healthcare startup makes biodegradable pads from banana fibre

Saathi – – an Ahmedabad-based startup founded by three Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduates — Amrita Saigal, Grace Kane and Kristin Kagetsu, has developed a biodegradable sanitary pad made from banana fibre for the Indian market. “Last year, we filed for a patent. The product has been developed in India and we started manufacturing in our own unit at Ahmedabad from October.
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/startups/saathi-healthcare-startup-makes-biodegradable-pads-from-banana-fibre/articleshow/56363299.cms

Addressing the Taboo: Menstruation in India

A shocking 2011 report put the estimated use of female hygiene products in India at about 12 percent of all 355 million menstruating women. This figure is the result of twin barriers to access and affordability that force the other 88 percent to rely on unsanitary alternatives such as cloth, ashes and husk sand.
https://www.borgenmagazine.com/menstruation-in-india/

http://globalnews.ca/news/3126717/anti-zika-apparel-clothing-has-built-in-mosquito-repellant-for-women-expectant-moms/

“When the Zika epidemic hit, we were tracking the virus and we became aware of a gap in defending women against Zika. It’s just the basic question of how do you protect yourself during the day without having to slather your body with insecticide,” Wirth told Global News.
http://globalnews.ca/news/3126717/anti-zika-apparel-clothing-has-built-in-mosquito-repellant-for-women-expectant-moms/

This Is What It’s Like For Female Entrepreneurs In Afghanistan

They walk a fragile line. They must build networks with trusted government workers, the international business community, young students, and professionals. Many Afghan business leaders hope to attract investors who will bet on them to secure hard-won gains in human rights, especially for women.
https://www.fastcompany.com/3065740/startup-report/this-is-what-its-like-for-female-entrepreneurs-in-afghanistan

9 social good innovations that made an impact in August

Designers at Maternova, an innovation hub geared toward the needs of pregnant women, have developed a line of clothing containing insect repellent with intentions of protecting expectant moms from Zika virus. The repellant used in the clothing, the designers told TakePart, protect the wearer from more than 40 types of insects and will last up to 50 washes.
https://mashable.com/2016/09/02/social-good-innovations-august-2016/#6oN5Xg.NgSqU

Buying These Tampons Donates A Box Of Pads To Homeless Women

“We were shocked to learn that feminine hygiene products are not covered by government assistance programs like food stamps, and furthermore, that 40 states tax these products, making them even more cost-prohibitive to women living in homelessness,” the company’s founders, Annie Lasco and Margo Lang, told HuffPost in an email.
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/conscious-period-donations_us_5693e091e4b0a2b6fb70e176

These Entrepreneurs Want To Completely Shake Up The Economics Of Tampons And Pads

But Annie Lascoe and Margo Lang are thinking a lot about those products, and they want to change almost everything about them. They created their newly launched company, Conscious Period, to manufacture organic sanitary products so that women know exactly what ingredients are being used, given that in the U.S. companies aren’t required to disclose all the components in their raw materials. “We were both really concerned about the ingredients that aren’t being disclosed in conventional tampons,” Lascoe said.
https://thinkprogress.org/these-entrepreneurs-want-to-completely-shake-up-the-economics-of-tampons-and-pads-d987ddf38e00/