40% cheaper than competitors
In India, where feminine hygiene products are prohibitively expensive for much of the country, women’s periods can make life especially difficult. One new startup is trying to create a network of female entrepreneurs to sell cheap pads across the country.
Periods are big business. Reusable silicone menstrual cups are popular in some circles, but they’re hardly mainstream–most women are captive to companies that offer disposable pads and tampons. In rural India and other parts of the developing world, this is a problem. Sanitary pads are too expensive for most women to afford (over 300 million women in India don’t use feminine hygiene products, and others make their own unsterilized pads out of materials like ash, wooden husks, sand, and cloth), and as a result, they often miss out on major life opportunities. It’s difficult to sit through classes at school when your period has free reign.
That’s what Azadi Pads, a sanitary pad startup that’s participating in social impact accelerator Impact Engine, hopes to change. Cofounders Ameet Mehta and Dhirendra Singh have seen firsthand how lack of access to feminine hygiene products can have deleterious effects on Indian women. The pair met while working for a nonprofit that gives performance scholarships to students in India. “Women were dropping out because of lack of access [to hygiene products],” says Mehta.
Mehta and Singh realized there was a big market opportunity–one that could help millions of women. Azadi (it means “freedom and independence” in Hindi) was born. The startup has designed a completely biodegradable sanitary pad that costs 35 cents at scale, making it 40% cheaper than competitors.
via FastCoExist – Ariel Schwartz
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