Julienne Ingabire & Elizabeth Scharpf

Laureate 2012

Julienne Ingabire & Elizabeth Scharpf

RWANDA
Sustainable Health Enterprises
ENVIRONMENT
HEALTH
Sustainable Health Enterprises produces low-cost and eco-friendly sanitary pads on a franchise model fostering local entrepreneurs.

Elizabeth Scharpf, an American management consultant in pharmaceuticals and biotech turned entrepreneur, and Julienne Ingabire, a Rwandese businesswoman, have joined forces to co-found a business that tackles one of today’s enduring taboos: menstruation. ‘In developing countries like Rwanda, the lack of affordable sanitary pads puts girls at a distinct gender disadvantage; when they can’t afford pads they stay at home during their period to avoid embarrassment, missing days of school every month,’ says Elizabeth, CEO of Sustainable Health Enterprises, or SHE for short, whose goal is to drive economic and social change through sustainable enterprise in emerging markets. ‘Likewise, low-income women in rural areas miss work for the same reasons.’

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