Updated May 01, 2019

Redefining Periods with Be Girl's PeriodPanty & SmartCycle

Be Girl is disrupting the status quo for menstruation through our innovative, high-quality products designed with and for girls to understand manage menstruation safely and comfortably.

https://www.begirl.org/

Be girl Hello@begirl.org

Stage 3: Proof of Concept

Be Girl has received a utility patent and fully developed and field-tested our period products. In Mozambique, we are testing a sustainable markets-based approach to create affordable access to our premium period products for all womankind.

Focus Areas:

Menstrual Hygiene, Young Adolescence (10-14), Sexual and Reproductive Health and 5 MoreSEE ALL

Menstrual Hygiene, Young Adolescence (10-14), Sexual and Reproductive Health, Health, Enabling Environment, Human Centered Design, Education and EnvironmentSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Ethiopia, Mozambique, Guatemala and 24 MoreSEE ALL

Ethiopia, Mozambique, Guatemala, Ghana, Nepal, Zambia, Tanzania, Somalia, Solomon Islands, Georgia, United States, Colombia, Cameroon, Morocco, Uganda, Dominican Republic, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Papua New Guinea, Nigeria, Mali, Malawi, Madagascar, Liberia, Kenya, Jordan and HaitiSEE LESS

27
Countries Implemented In
31,000
Customers
3
Employee
$1,738,000
Funds Raised to Date
Verified Funding
?

Problem

Adolescent girls in low-resource settings are ill-prepared for menstruation because they lack information and products to manage their menses. Menstruation is steeped in taboo, and too often disposables are unavailable and unaffordable and reusables are low-quality and unsanitary. Difficulties in managing periods with normalcy and dignity is an obstacle to gender equality and negatively impacts women’s human rights to education, health, and work.

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Solution

Be Girl leads long-term transformative change by making innovative, environmentally sustainable, and durable menstrual products accessible so that being a girl is not a barrier to health, dignity, and success. Lack of access to menstrual products is a market failure and solutions need to be environmentally sustainable because disposable products generate a massive amount of refuse that will add to current waste crises in many developing countries.


Target Beneficiaries

Be Girl makes period protection radically accessible to women and girls, with a special focus on those living in poverty and at the base of the economic pyramid. We reach the former through collaborations with relief and development nonprofits. The second group currently purchases sanitary products, albeit with difficulty. We serve them through a sustainable, markets-based methodology currently undergoing proof of concept in Mozambique.

Mission and Vision

Be Girl seeks to eliminate menstruation as a barrier to opportunity, empowering women and girls to access their rights to education, health, and equitable participation in society. We are fierce advocates for girls and envision a world where being a girl does not stand in the way of health, dignity, and success. For this reason, we create access to our sustainable, high-performing, and cost effective menstrual products, redefining period protection as it stands.

Innovation Description

Be Girl's PeriodPanty and FlexiPad have a revolutionary patented design: a leakproof base with a mesh pocket that holds a washable absorbent towel, initially designed as a pad that attaches to underwear: the FlexiPad. Disposable toilet tissue or cloths may be inserted in place of the towel for users with very low water access. Through piloting the FlexiPadTM, we learned that many girls who struggle to afford menstrual pads every month also struggle to afford underwear. This led to the design of our PeriodPanty, a 2-in-1 product that combines high-performance underwear with reliable period protection using the FlexiPad™ pocket technology. Our pilot data revealed that girls using the PeriodPanty experienced a 40% reduction in school absenteeism, and 94% of users reported improvements in their confidence and/or school performance. To address the lack of information around periods, Be Girl developed the SmartCycle® Menstrual Educational Tool, created with and for adolescent girls to allow them to manage menstruation with information and independence. Designed as a wearable necklace, the SmartCycle® puts knowledge in the hands of girls to learn about and monitor their periods. Pilot data revealed an increase in girls' knowledge about menstruation (e.g., six-fold improvement in girls who understood ovulation) and positive attitudes (51% increase in girls who felt comfortable discussing menstruation).

Competitive Advantage

Be Girl's design-centered approach positions us a disrupter in the MHM space. We patented a design solution to address the negative outcomes from a lack of affordable, effective, and hygienic menstrual protection. Compared to existing alternatives, our PeriodPanty is more durable (lasts two years or longer), affordable (saves money compared to the monthly cost of disposables), and comfortable and user-centered (stain-proof and can be washed with a 70% less water than traditional alternatives). They dry indoors within an hour, protecting the user’s privacy, while also discouraging mildew or other bacterial growth. Our SmartCycle tool and methodology take complex information and package it in a user-friendly, age-appropriate manner. As a physical tool, it does not rely upon smartphone access (as required by a period tracker app). Compared to the bead method, the SmartCycle is easier to understand, especially for younger users, and more discreet.

Planned Goals and Milestones

Be Girl is growing and scaling our impact. Our next step--use our passion, innovation and creativity to disrupt feminine care markets to make menstrual products accessible to the base of the pyramid through marketing mechanisms. Building on learning from our 2018 pilot in Mozambique, we seek to position Be Girl as a top choice for sustainable feminine care products, making it a competitive alternative to disposables in emerging economies.
Funding Goal800,000
New Implemented CountriesColombia, Angola, Mozambique, South Africa
New FeatureDisrupt the feminine care market to make durable, high-performance menstrual products accessible to the bottom of the pyramid.

The Team Behind the Innovation

CEO and co-founder Diana Sierra (F) has 10+ years' experience in industrial design with a focus on products designed specifically for women’s use. COO Audrey Anderson (F) is a specialist in adolescent girl-centered programming with 10 years' experience in international education and development. CFO Amy Kelly (F) has 10+ years of experience in bookkeeping, financial planning, and public policy. Programs Director Tatiana Reyes Jové brings experience in data analysis, M&E, and project design.

EXECUTIVE TEAM INCLUDES WOMEN

Milestones

Apr 2019
In the News
TITLEBe Girl CEO Diana Sierra featured in video by Somos5 in El Pais and El Hormiguero in Spain
Mar 2019
In the News
TITLEBe Girl COO Audrey Anderson featured in Dallas news to discuss menstrual equity
Nov 2018
Funds RaisedPENDING
$100,000
TITLESmartCycle Menstrual Education Tool and Methodology
TYPEGrant
FOCUS AREAS
Menstrual Hygiene
IMPLEMENTED INMozambique
ORGANIZATIONOpenIDEOOpenIDEO
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
Ghana
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
Guatemala
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
Haiti

Supporting Materials

Impact-Report-2018-2019-02-08-FINAL.pdf