NAIROBI – Three Kenyan women-run enterprises providing sexual reproductive health solutions have emerged winners of a Global Fund for Women contest to build their innovative solutions in a contest held in Nairobi.
Inteco Kenya ARI, Silmak Agencies and Mums Village each won of a US$ 10,000.
The competition organized through a partnership by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) who provided the grants, Graca Machel Trust (GMT), and Nairobi Incubation Lab (NAILAB), saw more than 60 Kenyan enterprises entering the challenge which run over six weeks with 10 ten being shortlisted for the final presentation.
The competition, dubbed I AM 2.0 contest, was aimed at appreciating businesses that address sexual reproductive health challenges.
According to the judges, the winners were picked based on their scalability, uniqueness, sustainability and direct impact to the community. The three winners will go through an accelerator training programme which will be run by NAILAB for the three before presenting the impact of their project to investors.
Musimbi Kanyoro, the Chief Executive Officer of Global Fund for Women said their organization is focused on funding and empowering women because of their vulnerability in society.
“When women have power, freedom, a voice and resources, they are change makers in this world,” said Kanyoro.
“Our mission is to support initiatives that focus on empowering the life of the girl child and women in our countries,” added Kanyoro.
Inteco Kenya ARI is a business that offers sanitary pads distribution services done through the ARI vending machine that is mounted at accessible locations while Silmak Agencies focuses on manufacturing of adult diapers, sanitary pads, sanitary pads dispensers and sanitary pad incinerators.
Mums Village is a social support network that seeks to provide safe space for women undergoing gender based violence through peer to peer interaction.
“My solution is to promote accountability and transparent distribution of donated sanitary pads in schools through an ARI vending machine. I intend to use the money to upgrade the machine and make it more efficient and user friendly to the users,” Inteco Kenya Ari founder Munira Twahir.
Her sentiments were also echoed by Catherine Mumbua of Silmak Agencies adding that the Genesis Care product will address a huge gap in schools.
Catherine Mumbua of Silmak Agencies said “There is no incineration solution in the country and in Africa. This is why I believe my solution is critical. Many schools need this incinerator and with this prize, I will be able to significantly subsidize the cost of the incinerator and increase access of this solution countrywide,” said Catherine Mumbua.