Updated Aug 28, 2020

Leisa Hirtz

The Bfree Cup is the only physically antibacterial re-engineered menstrual cup that doesn't require water to wash or to be boiled between cycles. Developed at the University of Toronto and ESPCI Paris, this is a game-changing menstrual innovation.

The bfree cup is the only physically antibacterial menstrual cup made from 100% FDA approved medical grade silicone. Rigorously researched and developed at the University of Toronto and ESPCI Paris, the bfree cup is the first truly innovative product in the range of menstrual management products in almost a century since the first menstrual cup was developed in the 1930s. The impact of disposab...
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The bfree cup is the only physically antibacterial menstrual cup made from 100% FDA approved medical grade silicone. Rigorously researched and developed at the University of Toronto and ESPCI Paris, the bfree cup is the first truly innovative product in the range of menstrual management products in almost a century since the first menstrual cup was developed in the 1930s. The impact of disposable menstrual products is not sustainable. The impact on the environment from disposable products is detrimentally impacting landfills and infrastructure. It is said to take between 200-800 years for one disposable menstrual pad to decompose in a landfill. Our bfree cup, just one cup, can be used for over 10 years. That's a 1:3000 ratio, that is, one cup or 3000 pads or tampons in a 10 year period for every girl or woman. Not only did we re-engineer the material but so too the design. The bfree cup is redesigned to resist leaks, easier for the user to learn to insert and remove and doesn't have the usual hard to clean holes near the opening. This is a major complaint of users. Both aesthetically and functionally, the bfree cup is designed to increase owner pride in knowing they are choosing a product that is better for themselves, others, and the planet.
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Stage 4: Transition to Scale

We are selling on the global market, have and are continuing to provide Bfree Cup Kits to adolescent girls living in the global south, currently Uganda, Kenya, and Colombia through our social programs and projects.

Focus Areas:

Menstrual Hygiene, Gender Equity, Sexual and Reproductive Health and 12 MoreSEE ALL

Menstrual Hygiene, Gender Equity, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Economic Empowerment, Sanitation, Water Supply/Quality, Education, Health, Refugees, Data Collection/Needs Assessments, Human Centered Design, Young Adolescence (10-14), Mid-Adolescence (15-19), Emerging Adulthood (20-24) and YouthSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Uganda and Kenya

Uganda and KenyaSEE LESS

1
Key Partner
2
Countries Implemented In
6,000
Customers
3
Employees
$800,000
Funds Raised to Date

Problem

Girls globally are discriminated against because they menstruate. Biology should not determine socio-economic outcomes. Education, equal opportunity and empowering innovative products to help girls manage their periods with dignity need to be delivered. Society as a whole suffers when 50% of the world's population is disempowered due to a natural and healthy biological process. The harsh reality is that girls living in LMICs are engaging in high-risk transactional sex to afford menstrual pads.

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Solution

The bfree cup is the only antibacterial menstrual cup designed for girls and women living in conditions where water is difficult to access, often contaminated, and boiling between periods to sterilize a menstrual cup is embarrassing. The Bfree Cup needs only to be wiped to clean. Evidence-based research along with comprehensive education programs developed to improve puberty and menstrual health and hygiene knowledge in a whole community approach has proven effective in improving outcomes.

Target Beneficiaries

Our primary beneficiaries are marginalized adolescent girls and young women living in poverty, especially those living in the global south. Period poverty exists globally, even in the wealthiest of countries. Our mission is to reach all girls in need through multi-market approaches, health promotion, and gender-equal puberty and menstrual health and hygiene creative training programming that is contextually sensitive, youth-led, and community-owned.

Mission and Vision

Our mission is to actively participate and take responsibility to see the success of the Sustainable Development Goals especially SDGs 1, 3, 4, 5, 6.2, 10, and 13. By empowering adolescent girls, our vision is to improve the psycho-socio-economic outcomes for girls and women globally. Poverty is sexist. When women have economic independence, not only do their children and families fair better but communities and societies as a whole measure better overall national outcomes.

Competitive Advantage

The bfree cup is the only physically antibacterial menstrual cup that doesn't form a biofilm so bacteria cannot adhere and proliferate. The bfree cup doesn't require water to wash or to be boiled between cycles which is one of the leading complaints of users and reason many do not take up the menstrual cup to manage their periods. We rely on human-centered design to develop our products and are committed to continuous innovation in the menstrual, sexual, and reproductive health products, programs, and intersectoral efforts. Additionally, we have developed a comprehensive education program that not only discusses menstrual health management but early marriage, gender-based violence, human rights, civic engagement, and personal autonomy. We have global collaborations with strong leaders, researchers, advocates, INGOs, and multinationals. We continue to grow and build our networks.

Planned Goals and Milestones

The development of the bfree duo; a multipurpose assistive and preventive device that functions as both a menstrual cup and a cervical cup. The bfree duo is currently in the prototype stage. We will need to conduct a clinical trial for this product relating to its contraceptive function. We have an opportunity for a clinical trial in Denmark. We're seeking either a grant, a loan or equity opportunities.
Funding Goal2,500,000
Projected Cumulative Lives Impacted10,000,000
New Implemented CountriesColombia
Recruit3 management, 5 employees, 10 volunteers
New FeatureWe will be testing to determine efficacy as a contraceptive but as well determining if the incidence of HIV in women is reduced.

The Team Behind the Innovation

Women's Global Health Innovation is a woman founded, woman-owned with a mostly female executive team. We have one male on our team who is 24 years of age. We take a youth-led focused approach. Executives key credentials include expertise in Science and Technology, Business Management, Communications, Public Relations, Marketing and Branding along with Behavioural Psychology. We take an integrated approach to our development.

EXECUTIVE TEAM INCLUDES WOMEN AND YOUTH

Milestone

Jul 2020
Funds RaisedPENDING
TITLEWomen’s Empowerment via Menstrual Hygiene and Livelihood Integration
TYPEGrant
FOCUS AREAS
Gender Equity
Implemented InUganda
Jul 2020
Recognition ReceivedPENDING
 
as part of
 Indigenous Innovation Initiative
Mar 2019
Recognition ReceivedPENDING
Mar 2017
Created
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
Kenya
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
Uganda

Supporting Materials

bfree-cup-WGHI-Research-Results-Summary-Feb-2019.pdf
WoMena-Bfree-Pilot-Intervention-Report-V-April-2020-orientation-null.pdf