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/

From Commander to Student to Fellow to CEO

“Prakash’s leadership role at Maternova evolved swiftly based upon his combination of strategic leadership skills and ability to execute tasks and decisions at all levels,” shared Wirth. “We have worked with many, many students, recent graduates, consultants, and colleagues, but Prakash’s immediate understanding of the mission and vision of the company and his business acumen stood out.”
http://entrepreneurship.babson.edu/from-commander-to-student-to-fellow-to-ceo/

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/

Manufacturing an end to maternal mortality

“I saw women around me whose potential was not being recognized,” said Bai, which stoked a desire to give back to those she cared so deeply about.
https://biz.source.colostate.edu/ending-maternal-mortality-gsse-mba/

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

Banana fiber sanitary pads can solve big problems in India

With its sanitary pads for the Indian market, startup company Saathi solves two problems at once. Just 16 percent of women in India use them due to poverty and other reasons, which causes health and social issues. At the same time, manufacturing them wastes millions of gallons of water, and two million tons of pads end up in landfills every year. To help with all that, Saathi’s pads are affordable, made from discarded banana tree fibers, manufactured in a sustainable way and 100 percent biodegradable.
https://www.engadget.com/2017/10/29/saathi-banana-sanitary-pads-hello-tomorrow/

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

This Incredible Innovation Is Lifting a Huge Weight off Women’s Shoulders in Maharashtra’s Villages

One of the most important and equally toiling chore was fetching water from the nearest well, which was over 5 miles from her house, in steel pots that she’d carry over her head and on her waist. At least 10 to 20 litres of water was required for the household and that would mean at least four to five trips to the well. She’d spend three to four hours and an incredible amount of energy to fulfil the most basic of needs- water.
https://www.thebetterindia.com/103278/incredible-innovation-lifting-huge-weight-off-womens-shoulders-maharashtras-villages/

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/

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

Re-Nuble uses a proprietary process enabled by technology to convert food waste into a cheaper, highly sterile and stable, organic-based liquid fertilizer for the indoor agriculture industry. It’s focused on the commercialization of formulas and processes to turn bio-based materials into fertilizers for indoor growing systems. In doing so, Re-Nuble aims to create completely sustainable, closed loop food and plant production systems.
https://thedailybanter.com/2015/06/22-of-the-most-fascinating-social-good-startups-changing-the-world/

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

Juabar empowers off-grid Tanzanians with employment in the growing solar and mobile technology industries while filling a community energy need for mobile charging. “We used to organically go out and find new [local entrepreneurs] on our own but now as we’ve gotten smarter, we tap into existing networks of retailers and organizations working on economic and employment development to reach new customers,” says CEO Olivia Nava.
https://thedailybanter.com/2015/06/22-of-the-most-fascinating-social-good-startups-changing-the-world/

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

Estufa Doña Dora’s mission is to maximize access to efficient, clean, and safe wood-fired cooking devices for rural and peri-urban Guatemalan families. “Since 2012, over 1,000 families have decided to buy a Doña Dora stove, paying the market price,” says co-founder and CEO David Evitt. “That means a smoke-free kitchen for 5,042 people, 2,573 tons of CO2 emissions avoided per year, and an annual savings of $126,646 on firewood.”
https://thedailybanter.com/2015/06/22-of-the-most-fascinating-social-good-startups-changing-the-world/

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

Gham Power provides Solar Photovoltaic (PV) systems for residential & commercial buildings, bringing the highest quality solar technology to Nepal at affordable prices. “After the earthquake, we immediately began mobilizing our resources to provide solar lights and basic charging stations to relief workers, and to displaced individuals and families who are now living in tents and shelters,” says CEO Sandeep Giri. When Gham Power ran out of inventory, it started a funding campaign called Rebuild-With-Sun and raised $113,000 to purchase more supplies.
https://thedailybanter.com/2015/06/22-of-the-most-fascinating-social-good-startups-changing-the-world/

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

Evaptainers creates “zero energy” refrigeration systems using modular and mobile units to systemically reduce food spoilage in the developing world. “We are very proud to be on the ground in Morocco working with our country partners to bring this technology to market,” says CEO and co-founder Spencer Taylor. “Unlike other alternative refrigeration companies our product requires no electricity and is so lightweight and inexpensive that it allows us to bring a refrigeration solution to populations living on the other side of the electricity divide that have never before had access.”
https://thedailybanter.com/2015/06/22-of-the-most-fascinating-social-good-startups-changing-the-world/

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

Atayne makes high performing outdoor and athletic apparel that is safe for people and the planet. They aim to inspire positive environmental and social change through the power of active lifestyles. “I would say one of the things I am most proud of is being recognized by B Lab as a Best for the World and Best for the Environment Company the last three years,” says co-founder Jeremy Litchfield.
https://thedailybanter.com/2015/06/22-of-the-most-fascinating-social-good-startups-changing-the-world/

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

Yellow Leaf Hammocks exists to empower the Hill tribe members in Thailand to rise out of poverty by creating stable, culturally sustainable, high wage weaving jobs. “We’ve grown to create work for more than 200 weavers so far and we have a waiting list of more people hoping to become weavers!” says co-founder Rachel Connors. “Perhaps most importantly, all of our weavers’ children can afford to attend school instead of working in the fields, [thereby] breaking the cycle of poverty with education [and] new opportunities for the next generation.”
https://thedailybanter.com/2015/06/22-of-the-most-fascinating-social-good-startups-changing-the-world/

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

Back to the Roots was founded in 2009 by then college seniors Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora after they discovered how to grow gourmet mushrooms on recycled coffee grounds. Since then, Back to the Roots has evolved from urban mushroom farming to a thriving business on a mission to “undoing food” and reconnecting families to it through fun, delicious and sustainable “ready to grow” and “ready to eat” products. Back to the Roots products are now available in 14,000 retail locations including Target, Costco, Whole Foods, The Home Depot, Safeway, and several other retailers worldwide.
https://thedailybanter.com/2015/06/22-of-the-most-fascinating-social-good-startups-changing-the-world/

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

Toilets for People sells affordable and sustainable composting toilets, sanitation consulting services, and training in local capacity building to charity organizations serving communities living in the developing world where conventional sanitation solutions like pit latrines and flush toilets fail. Recently, the company successfully installed and is monitoring the usage of toilets in a Peruvian urban slum called Belen. The slum has a population of 70,000, and many of its inhabitants live in houses on stilts 20 feet in the air to avoid the Amazon River flood waters. Because of this, there are few hygienic toilets, and it’s one of the most challenging locals in the world to install proper sanitation.
https://thedailybanter.com/2015/06/22-of-the-most-fascinating-social-good-startups-changing-the-world/

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

Soupergirl serves fresh, homemade soup made with ingredients from small local farms. It serves sustainable soup for delivery or pickup and operates a storefront location in DC. “We’re proud of growing extensively over the past several years while staying true to our core values — cooking healthy, delicious, responsibly sourced food,” says owner Sara Polon. “We still have excellent relationships with a growing network of small, sustainable farms and we’re proud to support them and help them grow. It has not been easy, but it is well worth it.”
https://thedailybanter.com/2015/06/22-of-the-most-fascinating-social-good-startups-changing-the-world/

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

The long term objective of Sanergy is to build and scale viable sanitation infrastructure in the slums of Nairobi. The model involves four parts: (i) building a network of low-cost sanitation centers in slums, (ii) distributing them through franchising to local entrepreneurs, (iii) collecting the waste produced, and (iv) processing it into electricity and fertilizer. At each step, the model creates jobs and opportunity while simultaneously addressing serious social needs. “As of June 2015, we have a network of over 700 toilets run by 342 Fresh Life operators,” says communications manager Medora Brown. “Our network is used almost 30,000 times a day, and we remove more than seven metric tons of waste from the community every day. In total, we have removed and safely treated over 5,440 metric tons of waste. In the process, we have created over 725 high-quality jobs in an area where there is 40% unemployment.”
https://thedailybanter.com/2015/06/22-of-the-most-fascinating-social-good-startups-changing-the-world/

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

Fuego del Sol Haiti collects, sorts, upcycles, and recycles waste products into usable products that allow it to tap into underutilized fuel resources in Haiti. It does this by producing ecologically friendly fuel briquettes to fight Haiti’s deadly charcoal addiction. It also designs, manufactures, and distributes the improved cookstoves and related technologies that connect ecological biomass cooking with Haitian culture and thus creates long-term living-wage jobs. According to Kevin Adair, Fuego del Sol Haiti has produced “over 100 tons of recycled non-carbonized Haiti-produced fuel briquettes and thus replaced the need of over 10,000 trees.”
https://thedailybanter.com/2015/06/22-of-the-most-fascinating-social-good-startups-changing-the-world/