Global Goals and Presidential Selfies

This September, our Chief Instigator Elizabeth Scharpf took on the United Nations General Assembly, speaking at a high-level panel for Every Woman Every Child at the UN Headquarters in New York. 2016 marks the adoption of new global development goals and strategies which bring into focus one of SHE’s greatest strengths- Sustainability.

SHE’s innovative work in scaling the production of sustainable sanitary pads was showcased amongst the ranks of technology powerhouses such as Huawei, GE Foundation, Philips, and Orange. Every Woman Every Child brings together partners from different sectors and encourages collaboration in achieving a common goal – improving the wellbeing of women and children across the world.

Founder and CEO Elizabeth Scharpf at 2016 UNGA Week Luncheon.Every Woman Every Child’s efforts to enhance collaboration between public and private sectors will increase the efficiency in achieving social impact, but we also have them to thank for this excellent selfie of Elizabeth and the President of Ghana. SHE is committed to serving 250,000 girls by 2017, in line with our plans for expansion of the SHE28 campaign within Rwanda and globally.

Join our commitment and invest in our market-based solution to improving the well-being of women and girls.

SHE makes ink on CNBC and Global Citizen

“We believe that SHE’s approach has significant potential for scalability and thus could be an important step towards making women’s healthcare more accessible in these regions.” – says Josh Ghaim, Chief Technology Officer, Johnson and Johnson

CNBC and Global Citizen featured our expanded production and growing social enterprise across East Africa, thanks to a technical partnership with Johnson and Johnson.

Everything we do — whether it’s training farmers to supply us banana fiber or providing girls access to our go! pads — is thanks to our amazing network of champions like you.

Together, we’ve already made and distributed almost 200,000 pads to 10,000 girls throughout Rwanda and have created new income opportunities for 630 enterprising people.

And we’re just getting started. Read on.

SHE on CNBC: Why this Harvard grad has spent a decade making maxi pads out of banana fiber 




















SHE on Global Citizen: How Banana Fibers in Rwanda Are Helping Girls With Their Periods










Are you our next Biz Dev Ninja? Apply today.

Are you ready to join a talented diverse team who makes the seemingly impossible possible? One that leaves you tired by the end of the day, but up the next eager to make change again? We are in, and are looking for our next team member in NYC as our Business Development Associate aka our Quick-Witted Ninja.

We’re seeking to bring on this team member by early October so don’t delay!


Title: SHE Business Development Associate (aka our Quick-Witted Ninja)

Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE), an innovative social enterprise group, is hiring for a Business Development Associate to be based in our NYC office. What started with a blender in testing different raw materials like banana fiber, is now a burgeoning social business, increasing the health, wealth, education, and dignity across the value chain in East Africa.  We’ve been recognized by Harvard Business School, Echoing Green and President Bill Clinton, and you can learn more about us online – check out our video that brings to life our work:

Tenacity is what this organization was built on, and we’re looking for a confident, organized, and resilient person who wants to join a fast-paced, professional work environment. As the Business Development Associate, you will work with the Director of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships to diversify funding sources, and develop and implement an effective fund development strategy.

This position requires a real go-getter willing to roll up your sleeves. You thrill in checking off tasks off the to-do list and helps keep the team on track by staying five steps ahead of deadlines and funding opportunities. You are incredibly curious and demonstrate a propensity to learn more and improve your skills. Finally, you must have a great sense of humor – and be ready and willing to talk about taboo health issues!

If you are ready to join our small team and work with us to find innovation and new market solutions in the unlikeliest of places, then we want to meet you. See details below on how to apply today.

Your Impact

Funder Communications (50%)

  • Produce high-­quality short, medium and long­form copy for fundraising campaigns.
  • Identify and pursue opportunities to showcase SHE’s work and impact. This includes collaborating with the SHE Rwanda team to develop content for quarterly newsletters and fundraising campaigns; identifying opportunities to advance SHE’s thought leadership in the media or at conferences; preparing written materials as needed for multiple funder audiences including but not limited to, pitch decks, blog posts, press releases, social media assets, and email announcements .
  • Identify opportunities for improvement and innovation; provide direct feedback and recommendations.

Funder Outreach and Relationship Management (50%)

  • Perform and manage all the back-end work for our business development including grant and prospect research, data entry and tracking of deadlines in Salesforce and other CRM tools, and follow-ups.
  • Assist with prioritizing development leads with Director & CEO
  • Develop and improve existing development team systems and processes.
  • Draft grant proposals and reporting requirements
  • Identify new funding opportunities, execute due diligence and present opportunities to Director
  • Get to know and build relationships with SHE’s global network of funders and partners.

Who You Are

Minimum Qualifications

  • You have at least 2 years’ of cross-cultural work experience, preferably in the communications, international development or social enterprise field.
  • You have outstanding communication skills, including proven experience in making a complex subject matter accessible to a broader audience.
  • You are comfortable tackling problems head-on and adapting to shifting priorities, working individually and within a team, and managing multiple projects simultaneously.
  • You are comfortable presenting new ideas and explaining your decisions.
  • You have a high degree of proficiency with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  • Strong commitment to SHE’s mission, and an enthusiasm for building new development capacity initiatives to sustain SHE’s growth.
  • You approach obstacles with a sense of humor.
  • You have passions outside of work and contribute to your community.

Desired, but not required

  • At least 2 years of experience in fundraising, marketing, sales, or business development.
  • You have experience with Google Adwords and Google Analytics, and are constantly thinking of ways to measure the ROI of anything you do.
  • You have experience with Salesforce or another CRM tool.
  • You have experience with website technology (WordPress experience is a plus), social tools, and email marketing tools and resources.

Why You Should Join Us 

Sustainable Health Enterprises, or SHE, is an innovative, international and growing social venture. Our first initiative, SHE28, is a campaign that is addressing women and girls’ lack of access to affordable menstrual pads. SHE has been featured in The New York Times, NPR, and PBS Newshour.

As a member of the SHE Team, you will be sharing an office with the Director of Marketing and Strategic Partnerships, and be part of a larger co-working space and community that offers free food, free coffee, and plenty of cubby holes to go into when you need some quiet time. Skype will become your best friend as you work with our Rwandan colleagues on new ways to tell stories of impact and business wins to our SHE community of investors, volunteers, and champions.

Pop Quiz Time

Tell us one fundraising campaign you’ve been most impressed with and why. Why, and what are they doing differently? Let us know in your top pick in the body of your email.

How to Apply

For consideration, applicants must include:

  • a resume
  • and a writing sample that shows off your ability to simplify a complex subject matter
  • your pop quiz response.

To apply, please email and include your resume and a writing sample as attachments. The subject line should read: “Application: SHE Business Development Associate.”

The body of the email must include:

  • Your earliest start date
  • Your pop quiz response – feel free to include links to videos or articles to support your case.
  • 1-2 paragraphs summarizing your relevant experience, your interest in the position and how this position would contribute to your short or long-term career goals.

Short-listed candidates will be contacted by the SHE team. Unfortunately, SHE may not have the capacity to answer candidates’ questions until they are short-listed and contacted.

No phone calls or in-person applications, please.

Start Date: October 2016

Salary:  $45,000-$55,000 including health benefits

Join SHE Rwanda as its Managing Director

We are in an exciting growth phase at SHE and will be hiring a Managing Director to lead our Rwanda-based entity to profitability and scale. We are seeking an original, resilient, self–starter who sees opportunities (not challenges), and inspires and manages a team to scale our short, but proven track record.  Our Managing Director should bring fresh ideas to the table that can challenge our assumptions and principles. We are seeking someone who can do the following things:


We are looking for outstanding candidates who fit the following criteria:

  • Seasoned trailblazer with (5-10 years) experience expanding a sustainable commercial sales organization and one who has driven growth to scale (ideally by at least three-fold in a developing economy);
  • Growth oriented, cost conscious leader with demonstrated ability to reduce product/unit costs by 50% (ideally in a manufacturing business);
  • Business savvy financial manager with extensive experience in managing a P&L and in financial modeling to drive and inform strategy;
  • Strategic thinker and planner who has built and managed teams that successfully execute on plans for impact and scale;
  • Demonstrated ability to work with funders and investors;
  • Exceptional relationship and interpersonal skills: a strong listener who demonstrates patience, tact and authenticity;
  • Ability to effectively collaborate with and across a global team, proven capacity to work across cultural lines; and the ability to operate independently in complex situations;
  • Can-do positive attitude (we did figure out how to make sanitary pads out of banana trees—not easy!); and
  • Language: English required. + French and/or Kinyarwanda preferred.


  • Guide the scaling of SHE Rwanda from a fiscal perspective;
  • Develop evidence-driven implementation plans and execute those plans for production, sales, distribution, and supply chain management;
  • Evaluate the in-country leadership capabilities to meet the needs of the accelerated timeline to scale;
  • Test and evaluate all aspects of business model to ensure quality, sustainability and replicability by measuring success criteria against SHE’s business model and its assumptions;
  • Lead implementation plan roll-out while working with a diverse set of actors;
  • Hire and develop staff in Rwanda;
  • Advocate for funds, approximately $500,000 annually, for SHE externally in Rwanda and globally;
  • Lead with integrity. The Managing Director would be an inspirational figure for the staff and international community to look to as highly-skilled, passionate, and ethical.

Job Location:  Kigali, Rwanda

Duration:  Minimum 2+ years commitment, full-time job

Preferred Start Date:  Immediate Opening

Compensation:  Competitive with performance-driven bonuses and raises

To Apply:

Please send cover letter and CV to as soon as possible.  This will be a rolling process and CVs will be reviewed immediately upon receipt and accepted until the position is filled. Let us know why you would be the best person for the job today!

Girl Talk

Below, girls share their experience with SHE28 and the impact it is having in Rwanda. How can you break the silence? By investing and sharing the experience of Justine, Jessica, and Jackie, you can activate girls and women to continue challenging the status quo.

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SHE Selected as Semi-Finalist for the 2016 Fuller Challenge

SHE has been announced as a 2016 Semi-Finalist in the Fuller Challenge, a prestigious annual competition named “Socially-Responsible Design’s Highest Award”. Each year, The Buckminster Fuller Institute invites scientists, designers, architects, activists, entrepreneurs, artists and planners from all over the world to submit their innovative solutions to some of humanity’s most pressing problems. A $100,000 prize is awarded to support the development and implementation of one outstanding strategy.

Nineteen proposals, including ours, have been selected as Semi-finalists after rigorous review for adherence to the seven-point Challenge criteria: Visionary, Comprehensive, Ecologically Responsible, Feasible, Verifiable, and Replicable. Our application has been through three rounds of vetting by the members of the Challenge Review Committee, including analysis and evaluation by an interdisciplinary team of experts and advisors.

“Each of these projects deserve the attention of the world for their commitment to ‘solving for system’ – an approach that takes an unusual degree of insight, patience, tenacity and courage”, said Elizabeth Thompson, The Buckminster Fuller Institute’s Executive Director. “The teams behind these initiatives have made extraordinary efforts to define the systemic context underlying the problem they are seeking to solve, and have designed strategies that provide enduring and sustainable solutions. Each is a remarkable example of the transformative power of individual initiative and provide much needed hope by demonstrating that solutions to our most entrenched problems are indeed at hand.”

We’re honored to make the cut in this prestigious human-centered design competition. Stay tuned for the winners’ announcement in September.

Add to your bucket list: Kilimanjaro Climb for SHE 2017

Join the #climbforSHE team, July 1 – 11, 2017 across the Rongai Crater Route, Mt. Kilimanjaro.

This is your chance to close the gender gap for thousands of girls and create new jobs for the women in her community in Rwanda. SHE is equipping school girls with the pads they need to thrive at school by building a sustainable business that trains local women to make and sell these pads in their communities.

You can be a part of changing of Rwanda’s economy by climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro July 2017. The Rongai Crater Route starts from the north side of Kilimanjaro at the village of Nalemoru near the Kenya border. This less traveled trail allows discriminating trekkers to distance themselves from the busier routes on the lower elevations, offers a great variety of fabulous vistas that most climbers never get to see. The route passes through lush farmland and pine and cypress forests before ascending into the rainforest where you may see troupes of black and white colobus monkeys. In the higher moorland zone enjoy views of the Kenyan plains rich with game.

Stay tuned for more info about how to sign up. In the meantime, watch the video below to learn more about SHE and last year’s inaugural climb up Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Download a brochure

See photos and read testimonials’ from last year’s adventure

go! Out & Play on Menstrual Hygiene Day

Guest Post by Jeannette Murekatate, Health and Hygiene Manager

That’s exactly what we did in Rwanda on May 27 by organizing 2030 students (both boys and girls), teachers, and community leaders, in celebration of Menstrual Hygiene Day 2016.  This year’s theme focused on “He for SHE”, serving as a call to action for Rwandan boys and men to engage in conversations with girls and women about the significance of good menstrual hygiene habits, and the role these habits play in the health and well-being of all girls and women.

The day’s activities included skits written and performed by students to illustrate the challenges girls encounter while managing their period at school and at home, an all-girl soccer match, and a fact or fiction menstrual health crossword puzzle. In an epic win (2-0), G.S. Gikaya school was declared the game-winner, and SHE awarded each girl a t-shirt in addition to their very own pack of go! pads.

Alphonse Ngarambe, The Director of Health in the Kayonza district, delivered a speech directed to young men, reminding them they can play a role in promoting good menstrual hygiene by starting conversations about menstruation with other men to reduce the stigma and shame that many fellow girl students feel while menstruating at school. He ended his speech with a note of hope, saying  “Abishyize hamwe nta kibananira,” or “Together, all things are possible.”

Providing girls and women information about menstruation and their health, in addition to ensuring affordable access to menstrual products, is not just about health and hygiene – it’s also about affirming their agency and their rights. SHE28 extends beyond our work and collaboration with girls and women to include boys and men, because when everyone is engaged, everyone wins.

Why I Volunteer for SHE: Meet Sam Schulman

Sam offered her brand and design skills with her Interbrand colleagues for a day of service.

Sam offered her brand and design skills with her Interbrand colleagues for a day of service.

How did you find out about SHE?

SHE and Interbrand partnered for Interbrand’s Month of Service in July 2014. SHE was selected out of many non-profit submissions to participate in a one-day intensive workshop to tackle key brand challenges.

What project did you work on with SHE? Whom did you work with? How did you use your skills and talents to help advance SHE’s mission?

We worked with Elizabeth Scharpf (founder and CEO), Connie Lewin (Strategic Partnerships and Marketing Director) and SHE’s Marketing Intern. Originally, the focus was on understanding how to implement visual assets as a result of a recent rebrand. What evolved was a deeper focus on differentiating SHE’s primary campaign, SHE28, from the SHE global brand to ensure SHE could be better leveraged as a platform to communicate the broader objectives of the organization, and support future growth. In just 8 hours, we completed an extraordinary amount together – we developed a messaging platform to express the brand personality; made adjustments to both the SHE and SHE28 logos, introducing greater clarity and flexibility in the visual system; and finally, a brand playbook that included visual, verbal and strategic guidance for implementing the brand effectively.

What are some highlights of your volunteer work with SHE?

Our day with SHE remains one of my career highlights. Not only is the SHE team incredibly passionate about what they do, but they have created a really interesting and sustainable business model unlike many in the space. The team was engaged and decisive which allowed us to iterate together to get to successful solutions.

Sam Schulman brand work as SHE volunteer

Sam and her Interbrand colleagues worked with SHE to produce a brand guide, a refreshed SHE logo, and actionable content all in one day!

What should people know about SHE?

Working with SHE opened my eyes to a topic I had previously known very little about. The work SHE is doing is unique and powerful and I can’t wait to see what SHE tackles next as it continues to grow and make lasting change at a global scale!