Increasing Potential, Decreasing Absenteeism
Jennifer Shigoli keeps girls in school. With the distribution of sanitary pads, in three months in rural Tanzania, absenteeism among girls in five schools dropped from 27% to just 5%. Jennifer’s ELEA Reusable Pads ensure affordable menstrual hygiene for teen girls. Now, instead of missing school, girls can learn. Instead of being shamed, girls are proud. With a profound mission of increasing school attendance and the self-esteem of girls, Jennifer is charging ahead and making a difference.
This mission earned Jennifer $150,000 of seed funding in the 2016 African Entrepreneurship Award. Significant funding, coupled with year-long mentoring, ensure Jennifer and ELEA can continue to make an impact on teen girls in Tanzania.
In a few short months, Jennifer’s company, Malkia Investments increased employment from 11 to 25. These 25 employees work on production, marketing, and distribution of ELEA Reusable Pads. The product revolutionizes girls’ health and educational access in Tanzania.
The increase in numbers doesn’t stop there. Before winning the African Entrepreneurship Award in 2016, Jennifer’s business produced 750-1,000 packs of ELEA pads a week. With the injection of Award funding, that number grew to 5,000 packs a week. An upgraded, expanded and fully operational facility by the end of 2017 means Jennifer will produce 20,000 packs a week.