Jennifer Shigoli quit the corporate world in 2013 to create Elea Pads after she saw that young girls were frequently absent from school during menstruation because they couldn’t afford disposable sanitary pads.
The business idea came to the 29-year-old former legal officer while she was teaching hygiene and sanitation in primary schools in Nyang’oro in rural Tanzania.
“I did some research and saw that the problem was huge,” Jennifer said. “On top of the fact that they missed school, the materials they used were unhygienic. Some were using rags, old newspapers, chicken feathers, leaves.”
Winner: Jennifer Shigoli of Elea Reusable Sanitary Pads, Tanzania
“I thought there must be a solution, a way to give them an affordable alternative.”
Jennifer is a graduate from Empretec, UNCTAD’s entrepreneurship training program, and quickly realized while designing the pads that affordability was only one part of the story. For Elea Pads to be a sustainable solution, they would need to be environmentally friendly and locally produced.
Read more about Jennifer and Empretec here http://unctad.org/en/pages/newsdetails.aspx?OriginalVersionID=1603