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Dhaka, BangladeshDhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet, Bangladesh
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.

‘Shurokkha’ (meaning: Protection) an eco-friendly, affordable sanitary napkin made from bamboo fibers for low-income women group. We believe every women despite her socioeconomic background has the right to have safe period and Shurokkha ensures that women enjoy freedom even during period.

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

What if all women despite her socioeconomic background could have a safe and hygenic period?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In Bangladesh a female worker has to work more than 12 hours a day and 60% of the factory workers do not have access to toilet facilities in their workplace. They earn only BDT 1500-3500 and generally live in slums or semi slums that are very congested with no provision for personal space &proper sanitation and safe water facilities. Because of their low income, 95% of the female-workers use rags during period and reuse them without washing.

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

‘Shurokkha’ (meaning: Protection) An eco-friendly, easily accessible and affordable sanitary napkin made from bamboo fibers for low-income women group. Our company’s operation include procurement of raw materials from local sources, manufacturing of the pads by employing local unemployed women and delivering the product to the doorsteps of every customer by employing trained health workers who will be called Tothya-Pori (Info-Fairies). Use of bamboo fiber, local resource reduces price to $0.21 which is 73% less than current products. We aim to generate consciousness among the women about the menstrual health issues, develop a more confident and productive women workforce and generate employment for unskilled poor living in slums.
Impact: How does it Work

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

A pilot has been conducted on 30 women in Wisteria Garments Factory and the owner of the factory was content about reduced absenteeism and overall improvement in productivity. Some of the opinion from the workers are as follow:“Previously it was difficult for me to buy sanitary napkin from a male shopkeeper but friendly info-fairies make Shurokkha available at my doorstep”- Amena “I think I am never going to miss work for period again, thanks to Shurokkha! ” -Shompa. These women previously remained absent due to illness because of their unhygienic lifestyle during period and therefore they incurred medical bills and lost their daily wages. But now they saved on medical bills and also increased income by reducing absenteeism.

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

We conducted a pilot at Wisteria Garments with a sample size of 30 women. After the pilot the absenteeism went down by 30%. The results of the pilot validated that around 92% of the women are satisfied with our product and 80% are wiling to buy our product. The women who participated in pilot got 30% increase in income as performance bonus. The extra earning has been spent on education, nutritious food and well being of their family. Also since the ladies were not ill they saved around 10% of their wage which was previously spent on medical bills. These 30 women achieved the aforementioned benefits by buying a pack of Shurokkha for $0.21 which is 0.5% of their earning. Also the pilot employed 10 jobless women. These benefits can be scaled up by reaching out to all 3 million female workers and if productivity of the workers improve the overall economy will be become more efficient.

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

At present there are about 3million female workers and in our first year we plant to capture 3% female RMG workers. We expect to increase our market share gradually and gain 30% of the market share within 5 year of our operation. Shurokkha is priced at $0.21/ packet and a consumer will spend $3 to buy sanitary napkins for the whole year, so it has market potential of $200,000. Investment requirement is $30,000 and it is 100% equity financed.

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

Shurokkha does not have any direct competitor since existing organizations mostly target the corporate or sophisticated ladies and therefore they sell napkins at premium price. Also existing organizations sell their product through pharmacy which is a male dominated distribution network and women often feel uncomfortable to buy this product. Shurokkha is an affordable napkin for ladies of low income group made of local raw materials, Shurokkha cost 21 cents which is 73% less than current products. And it is sold at factories by a pool of women called info-fairies so it is more accessible.

Founding Story

Shurokkha when we, founding members were working on a market research project of an RMG factory in Bangladesh. The objective of the project was to measure the cost efficiency of the factory. While conducting our research we found out that absenteeism among female workers is abnormally high. When we probed deep into the matter we found out that most of the women are absent due to illness related to menstruation. The garments workers use the fabric scraps that lay on the cutting room floor as rejected parts. Additionally those who can afford pads, are discouraged to buy as most stores selling napkins are operated by male salespersons and women feel shy to buy such sensitive products. Their health problems cost them physically and economically


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