We have some exciting news to share. SHE has been named a Classy Awards Finalist, of the 100 most innovative nonprofits and social enterprises of 2016! We couldn’t be more excited to share the news with supporters like you that make our work possible.
Classy Awards Finalists are a prestigious group of nonprofits and social enterprises selected for their excellence in social innovation and ability to solve a social problem. This year, Classy had 1300 programs across all cause categories submit nominations, and the competition was at an all-time high. The application process was rigorous and intensive, and we were judged using stringent criteria that assesses an organization’s potential to solve a problem and innovative solution.
Our SHE28 program, along with the 99 other Finalists, is now in the running to become a Winner. Our fate is being passed on to the Leadership Council, a diverse board of experts and thought leaders who will collectively vote to determine the 10 Classy Award Winners.
As a supporter, we hope you’ll join us in celebrating this momentous occasion. It’s a great honor to be recognized for our efforts and creative solutions that are making a dramatic impact on the world. If you want to share with your network, here is some copy:
Congratulations @SHEnterprises on being a #classyawards Finalist! The 100 most innovative nonprofits of 2016 >> collab.live/finalists-2016
So what’s next? Becoming a Classy Awards Finalist means we’ll be traveling to Boston this June 14-16 for the Collaborative + Classy Awards, the largest social innovation event of the year! We’ll have the opportunity to meet and mingle with some amazing folks, like leaders from the United Nations Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Echoing Green, charity:water, and many more. The event ends with the Classy Awards, where the 10 Winners are announced live on stage in a surprise celebration. Join us as our special guest and be a part of the exciting celebration.
Thank you for your support!
Guest Post by Dany Karemera, Production Manager
I just returned from a week in Skillman, New Jersey. It was my first time in the US – what a beautiful country! I was there for a training with Johnson and Johnson, who assists my organization (SHE) on the development of appropriate technology of manufacturing of sanitary pads out of banana fibers in Rwanda. During my 5 days in New Jersey, I worked with Michael Moscherosch and Ken Pelley, who are J&J engineers. They trained me on assembly, operation, maintenance and repair of the Phase 1 machine that will take banana fibers and convert them directly into fluff (absorbent material) as well as test method training.
Our technical collaboration with J&J has allowed us to develop a revamped manufacturing process with three phases of implementation:
Phase 1 is the new equipment which will streamline our pulping process. It takes banana fiber and converts it directly into fluff.
Phase 2 will convert the fluff into a tissue wrapped absorbent pad that then can be converted into menstrual pads.
Phase 3 will convert the menstrual pads into fully assembled pads.
We presented SHE’s patented innovation and technical collaboration work to senior leaders at Johnson and Johnson, including Michael Sneed, Vice President of Global Corporate Affairs.
Every night after training, I was hanging out with different J&J people, having dinner together and getting questioned about life in Rwanda and how we make pads out of banana fibers. They were very happy to be with me and get different knowledge from my experience. I also experienced different foods in the US. They were very good but it was hard to eat noodles using chopsticks for my first time! Before I started my training in New Jersey, I had an amazing time with my teammates Connie and Melissa in New York and visited different places such as Top of the Rock where you see an amazing view of New York City, saw dinosaur skeletons which lived thousands years ago at the American Museum of Natural History, and visited beautiful places such as Times Square, Central Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, and many more. It was very exciting! I am not scared of changes but to live between -3 degrees and -4 degrees Celsius (about 30 degrees Fahrenheit) was very hard for me. When I woke up and saw snow outside, I was very happy to see the snow for my first time and this was on my list of things to see in United States. I was very happy to see everything in white and Michael taught me how to throw snowballs (very funny). I have returned to Rwanda, and I am now at work with Michael and the J&J team to make our scale-up production process a reality.
Guest Post by Executive Director Melissa Driver Beard
Earlier this year, SHE was recognized as a winner of BiD Network’s 6th Annual Women in Business Challenge. The Women in Business challenge is a business plan competition that seeks to address the problem of underinvestment in female owned businesses in emerging markets, specifically Sub-Saharan Africa. BiD’s goal is to connect coached and investors with entrepreneurs. I was honored to represent SHE in Amsterdam at a three day program tailored specifically to match us with interested impact investors. I also represented SHE at “Bridge the Gap II: Women, Money, and Markets”, an event organized by Vive Invest (check out the video above to learn more).