Save Her Extensively

Congratulations! This Entry has been selected as a semifinalist.

Save Her Extensively : SHE

Kigali, RwandaKigali, Rwanda
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Our product is a homemade banana leaf sanitary pad that can be produced in a home or small room within a local community requiring little electricity and minimal training. In Rwanda banana farming is a large industry producing a huge amount of this banana leaf bi-product.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if all girls studied and women employed in Rwanda?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Women in general and young girls in particular in Rwanda do experience a problem of limited financial resources to buy sanitary pads which often affects their academic and work excellence. 18% of girls in Rwanda miss, on average, 35 days of school every year (and up to 50 days of school or work each year) due to their periods and ineffective pads and the embarrassment and ridicule that ensues (Jenara Nerenberg, 2010).

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

We intend to solve the problem by both producing locally made sanitary pads made out of banana leaves and providing employment to both women and young girls especially during holidays. This would uplift their financial capabilities to escape poverty and consequently move the country to where it wants to be by 2020. Rwanda has a vision named “Vision 202” of having moved from poor to middle-income countries. This can only be reached if and only if such problems are dealt with. SHE comes here to contribute to the development of the country at the same time making money out of a social home-based enterprise. About 80% of young girls will be directly and indirectly socially benefiting from my business. Above 200 of my employees will be women.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

SHE’s competitive advantage is producing affordable, high-quality and locally made environmentally friendly sanitary pads in underserved rural villages. Our products will be both new and cheap as compared to imported sanitary pads. SHE works with organized networks of women to both manufacture banana leaf-based pads and sell them at 30% of the current market price of pads in Rwanda--pads that are highly taxed and made from imported ingredients from Europe. The advantage of using banana—leaf for processing into sanitary pads to girls in Rwanda, is because resources that are used to make sanitary pads is highly low-cost reliable and easy to implement. School dropouts of girls will be reduced extremely.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Our business is targeting girls at an age structure of 0-14 years: 42.3% of the total population (female 2,521,530), and 15-24 years: 19.1% of the total population (female 1,145,500). Of course not all these people are very poor and from rural areas. Over 80% of Rwandans live in rural areas of the country. Rwanda is over 12 millions of people of which our target market captures over 30%. The government spends over 10% of GDP in Healthy sector which is huge. Our business will help reducing this expenditure by producing a home based health solution hence reducing sanitary imports and medications for diseases brought about by poor sanitary facilities to the rural Rwandans. About 80% of young girls between the ages of 12 to 35 years will be directly and indirectly socially benefiting from my business. Above 80% of my employees will be women which will uplift the earning power of rural women.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

We are planning to open a home social based enterprise dealing with manufacturing sanitary pads for women and girls by using banana-leaf. The manufacturing process will convert the banana-leaf into a clean fluff that has no bacteria, and free from chemicals. Sanitary products can be produced at home by a group of girls in rural areas whereby two types of pads will be produced, one that is light and heavier one. To make this effect, we will start working with farmers who are the main producers of banana trees; we will educate the importance of banana-leaf and this will help us make more impact.

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

We shall keep reaching more markets to help increase our revenue. We shall also reach more NGOs to finance our business in the short-run and also in the long-run since the project incorporates the scope of many local NGOs and some have contacted us for mutual cooperation. The company would make some investments which may involve some fund where women would make small borrowings hence earning the company some interest while benefiting them too.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The industry is just emerging. Our business will be one the major pioneering company to give way to the birth of the industry. However, we must work to the full best and exploit the first-mover advantages before other countries come in. In the future, more companies are expected to enter the market creating more competition in the industry. For a period of about 5 years, we expect to be enjoying first-mover advantages in the market. Beyond this time, more companies will come in due to the profits that we would have generated but due to the various measures put forward.

Founding Story

Vera Songwe, Cameroonian. Country Director, World Bank, Senegal, Ola Orekunrin, Nigerian. Medical Doctor & Founder, The Flying Doctor, Angela Merkel, Chancellor Germany are only the few names of the women whose names are among the powerful women of world. It also shows that women today can lead the world as efficiently as a man can but for that they need education. And among many constraints, their menstrual cycle is a major pullback for their development especially in developing countries like Rwanda, Nepal, rural India and many more. Thus I have come up with an idea which is economically affordable and thus can help those girls who are forced to stay away from their school only due to their biological condition i.e. menstrual cycle.


As founder and Chief Executive Officer of SHE, Mr. Moses Asiimwe will be responsible for the management of the company. Some of his duties will include overseeing the areas held by the other executives, as well as the output produced by other employees. He has able. Mrs. Judith Uwamahoro has an important job as operations manager. She has made research on it. Mr. George Kagabo will be the Finance Director with over 10 years experience and ACCA.
About You
About You
First Name


Last Name


About Your Project
Organization Name
How long has your organization been operating?

Organization Country

Rwanda, KV, Kigali

Country where this project is creating social impact

Rwanda, KR, Kigali

What awards or honors has the project received?
Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Friends and family, Individuals, Foundations.

Awards: What awards or honors has your solution received, if any?

Indiafrica Business Venture Contest 2014 winner

Tell us about your partnerships

I have some partnerships with local companies like Ikibatsi Ltd, MDEs and I am negotiating others with other companies.

Challenges: What challenges might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

The most challenge is capital to fund my operations and I am planning to get funding from different stake holders.

How does your idea help young people create bright futures and improve opportunities for meaningful and long-term careers?

This provides jobs to especially marginalized girls in Rwanda and their mothers. They would be trained to create their own jobs and it will provide them with an opportunity to study.

Target Age Group(s): What age group(s) do(es) your solution target through it's programming?

13-17, 18-35.

Intervention Focus: Identify which of the following best explain key parts of your solution

Education - Extracurricular, Entrepreneurship, Community, Rural Economies.

Do you have separate programs or initiatives that target the following types of populations?

Marginalized/Minority, Girls/Women.

Impact - Reach: How many people did your project directly engage in programmatic activities in the last year?

Not Applicable - yet! (we are at the idea stage or start-up)

Number of People Directly Employed by Your Organization


Number of Volunteers


Does your project utilize any of the innovative design principles below? Select a theme below that most applies to your work. If none of them do, no problem, you can skip this question.

Put Young People in Charge: provide the experiences and skills needed to be resilient, creative, and take action

Is your project targeted at solving any of the following key barriers? Select a theme below that most applies to your work. If none of them do, no problem, you can skip this question.