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

Wecyclers gives low-income communities in developing countries a chance to capture value from waste and clean up their neighborhoods through incentive-based recycling. “Since August 2012, Wecyclers has registered over 7,000 households for our collection service, built 25 operational collection cargo bikes and collected over 800 metric tons of recyclable materials,” says co-founder and CEO Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola.
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

Maternova is a web-based global marketplace that tracks and sells goods services that impact the lives of mothers and newborns. They make it easy for doctors, nurses, and midwives to track innovation and to buy technologies and kits to use overseas. “What began as a single obstetric kit product sold domestically has grown organically by demand to include over 40 rigorously tested products, and we’re proud to call the Ministries of Health, the United Nations, and some of the largest NGOs our clients,” says VP and co-founder Allyson E Cote. “To date, we’ve help save the lives of over 180,000 women and newborns, and our global reach extends into over 170 countries.”
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

Eqalix is developing the first plant-based skin substitute wound dressing; it will replace currently marketed products that are made from culturally sensitive sources (cadavers, embryonic materials, cows, pigs). Eqalix’s dressing can be sold at disruptive prices due to a cost structure that’s roughly 1/10 that of current products. “We have animal data showing that wounds dressed with OmegaSkin™ have resulted in about 1/3 less scarring, and actual restoration of skin appendages such as hair follicles and sweat glands, compared to control dressings,” says CEO Thomas Seoh. “By switching the source from human or animal tissues to soybeans (an inexpensive and ubiquitous food crop) and electrospinning (a well-characterized manufacturing process borrowed from the textile industry), we project unit costs roughly an order of magnitude lower than currently marketed products.”
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

Mozambikes is the first provider to build a bicycle industry and make bicycles a commodity in Mozambique. The unique advantage of Mozambikes lies in their model that provides bicycles of higher quality and lower prices to all provinces in Mozambique. They offer quality bicycles at a standard cost across all retail locations, regardless of proximity to an urban center, so that people can afford to buy a product that can improve their quality of life. “We employ over 15 workers,” says co-founder Lauren Thomas. “Our technicians in the warehouse generally lack formal education and would otherwise be minimum wage workers, but Mozambikes pays 2-5x minimum wage, gives bonuses (cell phones last year), and provides no-interest loans (we have helped 2 workers build a house)!”
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

Advancing Engineering is an engineering and construction consulting firm focused on infrastructure projects throughout the developing world. They provide engineering services in consulting, design, and construction management for projects including agriculture, roadways, bridges, buildings, dams, and distributed power. “Since its founding in 2009, AE now has offices in Cambodia and Indonesia with 15 permanent employees and over 30 associates,” says co-founder Bryse Gaboury.
https://thedailybanter.com/2015/06/22-of-the-most-fascinating-social-good-startups-changing-the-world/

Sanivation

22 of the Most Fascinating Social Good Startups Changing the World

Sanivation provides a household sanitation service and affordable fuel to residents living in the slums of Kenya, where current toilets are too expensive and require infrastructure that slum dwellers are not set up to invest in. “Already, Sanivation has had over 500 users for its services, over 300 monthly payments, and is operating at a 98% renewal rate for its monthly subscriptions,” says founder Andrew Foote.
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

DayOne Response develops and supplies innovative solutions for disaster relief. One solution is the DayOne Waterbag, which is a lightweight reusable personal water treatment device that provides all the essential functions for water purification. According to co-founder Amy Cagle, DayOne Waterbags have been deployed in over 20 countries, and the company has provided over 7 million liters of clean water in less than a year.
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

Eccolizer aims to solve the food crisis in Bangladesh by providing low-cost bio-fertilizer prepared from sugarcane bagasse, which is normally considered a wastage and thrown away. “We have supplied our organic [product] to more than 10 districts (out of a total 64 districts of Bangladesh), serving around 500 farmers who have cultivated various types of crops and vegetables,” says co-founder Md. Shahidul Islam.
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

Wello’s mission is to effectively deliver clean water to a thirsty world. By reframing the water crisis as an opportunity, Wello has developed an innovative business model that empowers individuals to use the WaterWheel as an income-generating tool to lift their families out of poverty. The WaterWheel is an innovative water transportation tool designed to alleviate the problems associated with a lack of easy access to water. “We began selling the WaterWheel 2.5 in May,” says co-founder Cynthia Koenig. “In our first three months of sales, we will have shipped 1500+ WaterWheels across India, Pakistan, and Zambia, positively impacting more than 10,000 individuals to date.”
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

Access Afya sells basic healthcare services and supplies via high-tech mini-clinics to poor Kenyans, whose current healthcare options are unpleasant, unreliable, or unaffordable. “The organization has proved that the poor will pay for healthcare if it is superior to the low-quality status quo and offered at a price point that is still affordable,” says CEO Melissa Menke. “We found that price ceiling to be around $5 per visit, and we have over 7,000 clients at this level.”
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

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/