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SHE (Sustainable Health Enterprises) LaunchPads for Change Profiled in Pulitzer Prize Winners Nicholas Kristof’s and Sheryl WuDunn’s latest book.
SHE founder Elizabeth Scharpf is profiled in Pulitzer Prize winning authors Nicholas Kristof’s and Sheryl WuDunn’s latest book; A Path Appears, a study on innovators and social change.
New York, NY – September 2014 – A Path Appears, written by Pulitzer Prize winner Nicholas Kristof, and Sheryl WuDunn includes a profile of SHE’s Founder and Chief Instigating Officer Elizabeth Scharpf, (Notre Dame, Fulbright Fellowship, Harvard MBA/MPID), on her journey from Harvard Business School to rural Rwanda in pursuit of a solution to a pressing social problem:
18% of women and girls in Rwanda SHE surveyed were regularly missing out on work or school because they could not afford to buy menstrual pads.
Quite apart from the personal injustice, and the larger issues of health and dignity, Scharpf calculated the potential GDP loss at $215 per women per year – a total of $115,000,000 in Rwanda alone.
Determined to pursue an innovation, not aid approach, Scharpf, through her organization SHE, Sustainable Health Enterprises, developed and patented a method to transform banana trunk fiber (typically thrown out) into 5-cent menstrual pads. These pads could be sold cheaply to women, and to schools who could give them to girls who need them.
500 pads a day.
3,000 girls a month.
A Path Appears weighs up the merits of the innovation, not aid approach, and finds it to be highly successful: “innovators who are using research, evidence-based strategies, and brilliant ideas of their own to prevent violence, improve health, boost education, and spread opportunity at home and around the world.”
The book concludes that “social entrepreneurship” and for-profit organizations are the most promising models for change.
“I believe what sets SHE apart, and merits being featured in A Path Appears, is our approach to disrupting traditional aid models,” said Scharpf. “Strange as it may seem, my goal is to be driven out of a job by actually solving problems by applying good business ideas and practices to global issues.”
“As a social venture, SHE is determined to seek out other solutions to unsexy or overlooked problems that can have a huge impact on people’s everyday lives. There’s a profound lack of toilets in the world. And transportation is a problem: developing countries make up 50% of the world’s traffic, but have 90% of its traffic fatalities.”
To learn more about Elizabeth Scharpf, SHE and SHE28, please go to www.sheinnovates.com.
To learn more about A Path Appears, go to: A Path Appears