Our Social Entrepreneurs
Menstrual Health and Hygiene Cohort
Grace Françoise Nibizi, Executive Director
SaCoDé (short for Santé Communauté Développement), is a Burundi-based startup that takes a holistic, wrap-around approach to the menstrual health of girls and women. SaCoDé’s novel innovation is a washable and reusable sanitary pad, branded Agateka, which means Dignity in Kirundi, is uniquely designed with special straps that allow them to be worn with or without underwear. Bundled alongside the product is comprehensive menstrual hygiene management and sexual reproductive health programming for adolescent girls.
Lily Health USA INC
MacGregor Lennarz, Co-Founder
Lily Health is an interactive mobile chat service that provides girls and women in East Africa with private, trusted, and discrete sexual and reproductive health advice. Through messaging on Whatsapp, FaceBook Messenger, and SMS this innovative solution uses artificial intelligence to ensure a personalized experience for every young woman seeking help. Lily Health’s team works to provide a future where all menstruating girls have the information and support they need to navigate menstruation with dignity and confidence.
Hodaka Kosugi, Julie Aubriot, and Agnes Makanyi,
Robert Kimathi and Hannah Muna, LVCT Health
Oky is the world’s first period tracking app that provides reliable, evidence-based menstrual health information, created for girls and with girls. This remarkable digital solution delivers girl-centered, culturally appropriate menstruation education and individualized period tracking directly into the hands of girls, in the way they want. Developed to meet the needs of girls’ digital realities, Oky is accessible on low end phones, can be accessed offline, doesn’t necessitate a high level of digital literacy to use, and is discrete and private. Originally created by UNICEF in East Asia and the Pacific, the app will be introduced in Kenya as a first entry to Sub-Saharan Africa, through UNICEF Kenya and their implementing partner, LVCT.
Florence Akara, Regional Director and
Jen Rubli, Research and M&E Coordinator
Femme International seeks to make quality, reusable menstrual products available, accessible, and affordable in local markets, and along the last mile, throughout East Africa. Through a project called the Twende Initiative, Femme takes a comprehensive, community-based, and educational approach to tackle issues surrounding menstruation. Twende ambassadors are trained to engage girls and women on a grassroots level, connecting with community groups and other local stakeholders, and going door-to-door to sell safe and affordable menstrual products, provide health information, and offer support. These frontline ambassadors are destigmatizing periods by dispelling persistent myths and addressing the lack of knowledge that too often hampers women from being healthy and safe during menstruation.
Kasole Secrets Company Ltd
Hyasintha Bartholomew Ntuyeko, Founder and CEO
Kasole Secrets makes the Glory Sanitary Napkin, a disposable pad engineered with ultra-absorbent and naturally antibacterial and hypoallergenic bamboo fiber. These biodegradable pads are distributed to schoolgirls at a discounted and affordable price. Through an interactive menstrual health and hygiene curriculum that engages boys alongside of girls, Kasole is challenging period taboos and demystifying menstruation for a new generation.
Ian Tarimo, Executive Director
The Jali Project, an animation video initiative by NGO Tai Tanzania uses storytelling to change prevailing attitudes and behaviors around menstruation. Geared toward adolescents, the 3D animated videos depict real-life experiences collected from youth in the community, while providing evidence-based menstrual health and hygiene information. These taboo-breaking videos are disseminated widely through school partnerships and social media.
Sanitation and Hygiene Cohort
Shani Senbetta, Founder & CEO and
Kiersten DeHaven, COO
Nandita Kotwal, Business Development Manager and
Shadrack Omwenga, Project Development Manager
Sanivation is pioneering sanitation innovations in Kenya by implementing non-sewered sanitation solutions at scale and treating human waste to create an environmentally friendly fuel product, which is then sold to local businesses. By partnering with utilities in Africa, Sanivation facilitates sanitation opportunities at the city and municipality-level, and makes sanitation a revenue engine, not a cost burden, while creating safe and equitable sanitation access for all residents.
Wow Mom Ltd
Peninah Ndegwa, Managing Director and
Lincoln Odeya, Head of Wash
Despite being the biggest victim of poor sanitation, children under the age of 5 are often excluded in sanitation programs, specifically toileting needs. Wow Mom, Ltd. installs innovative and locally designed Baby Changing Stations in public toilets in Kenya’s urban centers and provides child friendly toilets to households. Additionally, Wow Mom administers sanitation and hygiene training to caregivers to decrease disease and the incidence of open defecation, increasing safe sanitation and hygiene practices among children.
Chukwuma Nnanna, Founder and Executive Director
Toiletpride Initiative strengthens the Nigerian sanitation product supply chain through the marketing and sale of affordable, locally produced toilets via trained toilet entrepreneurs, hired from the communities they serve. Toiletpride also provides sanitation and hygiene education through community-wide campaigns to urban and peri-urban schools and low-income households.
Samir Lakhani, Founder, Executive Director and
Tricia Chirumbole, Global Program Manager
Eco-Soap Bank rescues and recycles unusable soap remnants from commercial manufacturers, putting soap in the hands of under-resourced children via schools and WASH programs, alongside relevant hygiene education, ensuring everyone receives basic dignities. Eco-Soap Bank also provides training and jobs for 154 women to learn the craft of soap-recycling and to distribute affordable soap widely, stimulating local economic opportunity.
TAYEP (Tanzania Young Eco Protection)
Dr. Felix Richard Manyogote, Founder & Executive Director and
Irene Kawiche, Project Manager
Tanzania Young Eco Protection is a youth-led organization that has designed, developed, and produced a low-cost, environmentally friendly hand washing station powered by foot pedals for filtered water and soap, decreasing contamination and improving access to healthy and safe water. The system is designed for low-resource settings, is easily maintained, and affordable.
Smart Girls Foundation Uganda
Jamila Mayanja, CEO and
Rehema Hassan Nambi, Programs Director
Menstruation management remains a daunting challenge in the life of many adolescent girls, particularly during school. Smart Girls Uganda makes the Smartbag, a backpack made with recycled plastics plucked from local water streams with a solar panel to light latrines and to study at home, made with girls for girls. The Smartbag has built-in compartments to carry used sanitary pads, giving girls a safe and discreet place to dispose of pads. The Smartbag also contains a menstruation kit consisting of reusable pads, a menstrual pad sewing kit, and a menstrual health management information booklet, ensuring that all girls have access to the tools and information they need to safely manage their menstruation during school time.