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Gloria Steinem and Bill Clinton walk into a bar...Instigating locally and globally...SHE joins Ben and Jerry and Richard Branson as SVN Network's 2013 Social Innovation Award Winner

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Dear SHE Trailblazers!

Five years ago, I put a blender in my backpack and headed to East Africa with three MIT students.  Who knew that I would now be standing in our new pilot-industrial scale facility to make maxi-pads made out of banana fiber in Rwanda!  

We are pioneers in tackling the taboo with creative solutions that provide dignity.   We've changed national policies and influenced groundbreaking international ones.  We've made the unmentionable mentionable (menstruation--yes, we said it!).

And we've developed novel technology and figured out how to mass manufacture so that millions of girls and women and their communities can have better health, education, and income.

Our work isn't done! Over 300+ stakeholders (from individual entrepreneurs to large organizations and national governments) from over 25 countries (not including the North Pole!) have asked us to help them replicate what we have done in their own communities.  

Thanks to you and others (from textile engineers to marketing execs to financial modeling gurus) who have helped us get to where we are today.  And thanks to the thousands more who will join us on the road ahead!

Elizabeth Scharpf
Founder and Chief Instigating Officer

Manufacturing is Sexy Again

Yes, it's true, according to Penn State University Professor Irene Patrick. 3-D Printing is leading the manufacturing craze in the U.S., with patents expiring in 2014. You can even take a test-run at Staples or UPS as they add 3-D printers into their shops.
SHE is sticking to the classics in Rwanda and using machinery that best suits our environment and can be replicated and implemented in communities across the world. Those machines are now in-country in Rwanda (happy dance!) and our technical team will soon be conducting test and quality engineering for our industrial-scale manufacturing. SHE is also recruiting women entrepreneurs to be a part of our production and assembly team.

That's good news for SHE, especially since the Governor of Eastern Province, Odette Uwamariya, has pledged to direct all schools in the Eastern Province to buy SHE's menstrual pads! 

What's Advocacy Got to Do With It?

Slacktivism may be the new trend in doing social good for some, but SHE's approach to tackling the taboos, myths and (lack of) policies requires instigating to ensure that key decision makers waive value-added taxes and increase the amount of resources needed to support girls' menstrual hygiene while at school. 

We do it locally with our own team, SHE's Jackie Mupenzi and Nadia Hitimana, by answering questions on Radio Rwanda like this: "I thought menstruation was a sickness. Can my daughter go to school?" 

And we do it internationally, when Jackie spoke about our industrial-scale pilot in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at the 2013 Women Deliver Conference, a major conference focused on girls and women that also brings in global leaders such as Melinda Gates and Chelsea Clinton.

Even Bloomberg Businessweek is highlighting the impact of lack of menstrual hygiene education and products upon India's economy, or what we call "Rag-o-nomics." Mayor Bloomberg, maybe SHE could be your next gig in November?

Gloria Steinem and Bill Clinton Walk Into a Bar...

Ok, we're not sure if that actually happened, but if they did, we're sure that they would agree on this: "Here's to simple solutions!" We'll cheer to that too!

In fact, that is what Gloria Steinem wrote on our SHE LaunchPad when she met our Global COO CeCe Camacho, who presented at the "Making Menstruation Matter" conference (yes, that does exist!)

President Clinton affirmed that as well when he was reunited with SHE and our LaunchPad since the 2009 Clinton Global Initiative. At the Segal Family Foundation Annual Meeting, President Clinton delivered a speech that acknowledged solutions, both big and small, that are designed by the "creative collaborators." We couldn't think of anything more fitting to celebrate SHE's approach of creative collaboration then by having him autograph our SHE LaunchPad!
Who do you think should sign our SHE LaunchPad next? Tweet your pick to us @SHEnteprises or tell us your pick on our Facebook page!

What is Socially Responsible Business, Anyway?

It's official: Major U.S. companies realize that now is the time to become socially responsible, or for some, to use that buzzword in its corporate communications. Toms' Shoes is considered by many as a socially responsible business, but with its buy-one-give-one model up for debate in the New York Times its hard to know who's really changing the way business is being done.
The Social Venture Network (SVN), is leading the way in setting the standard of socially responsible business, and is supporting the next generation of such leaders with its Innovation Awards. That's why SHE is so excited that SHE's Founder and Chief Instigating Officer Elizabeth Scharpf was selected to be a 2013 Innovation Award Winner!

SHE will be joining a community of socially responsible business pioneers that includes Richard Branson, Ben and Jerry's, Eileen Fisher, and Seventh Generation.
Name that SHE Ben and Jerry's flavor!

Show SHE Some Love

Share our work. Enjoyed our latest quarterly? Then let everyone know on Facebook or send out a tweet!
Invest in our SHE28 CampaignBetter yet, also get your company to invest in the SHE28 Campaign too - your company may match your investment by 100%! 
Provide expertise to us. Email us if you are a savvy dealmaker, a branding or PR guru, or a manufacturing nerd OR connect us to someone who has those skills!
Buy from us because you seek affordable, eco-friendly, menstrual products that not only benefit girls and women, but also their communities.
P.S. Do you use Gmail? 
Gmail recently added a "tabbed inbox." SHE's emails may start appearing in the "Promotions" folder.
What does that mean? Unless you click on the "Promotions" folder, you will not see SHE's emails! There is an easy way to fix it.
Step 1 -> Drag SHE emails from "Promotions" into the "Primary" Tab
Step 2 ->  Click YES when it asks if you want all other emails from our email address to be in your "Primary" folder.
If you can just take a moment to make the quick fix, we'll be able to ensure that you continue to receive our quarterly and any exciting updates!
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