Thanks to $25,000 in seed cash from Tufts competitions, Farah Momen, F20, is piloting a venture this summer to useful resource Bangladeshi girls who paintings within the garment industry. Her mission, known as The Now Exchange, will offer loose contraceptives at a Dhaka manufacturing unit as the first step toward enhancing ladies’ health there.
Momen and Giulia Bova, a friend from her undergraduate years at McGill University, won the Fletcher D-Prize Poverty Venture Solution Competition in March. The accolade got here with $10,000 to pilot the program this summer season. In April, the two girls additionally received the first vicinity inside the social impact song of the Tufts $100K New Ventures Competition via the Gordon Institute, which gave them a further $15,000. Both prizes additionally offer in-kind assist.
The D-Prize has strict criteria focusing on the “D,” which stands for “distribution” and emphasizes the need to spread progressive thoughts extensively, stated Marilyn Davison, entrepreneurial teach in the house at The Fletcher School, who mentored Momen thru the opposition. “Farah’s concept usually was very robust on pleasurable that criteria,” Davison said. “She and her companion Giulia additionally have very sturdy on-the-ground information and enjoy, both in Bangladesh and inside the subject of own family-planning projects.”
Momen and Bova intend to begin their undertaking this summer time by providing loose injections of Sayana Press, a hormonal contraceptive, via an already existing in-manufacturing facility health facility. Over time, they plan to expand to extra clinics and different aspects of girls’ health, including menstrual hygiene and domestic violence education. Their goal is to have the services funded via international organizations that sell garments made in Bangladesh.
“Retailers may be held answerable for the well-being of employees through their supply chain,” Momen stated. “They’re those that have the ability to surely do it.”
Momen, who’s Bangladeshi-American, traces her notion for this enterprise to her overdue uncle, who owned a garment manufacturing facility and generously invested in his community. Women regularly make up eighty percentage of the team of workers in such factories, so the legally required on-website clinics offer a terrific street to attain them, she stated. “Because girls are working such lengthy hours, they’re now not always going to go stand in line” at an overcrowded public health facility after work, she stated.
Momen evolved some of the approach for The Now Exchange in a Fletcher elegance, Managing NGOs and Social Enterprises, with Professor Alnoor Ebrahim. The direction demanding situations students to parent out what they could do nicely and the way to scale it to make a larger impact.
“This forces a team to get a whole lot of readability on what they need to acquire and how they’re going to do it and the way they may be going to hold their own feet to the fireplace for it,” Ebrahim stated.
This summer season, Momen and Bova, who’s incomes a grasp’s degree in international development coverage at the Korbel School of the University of Denver, will paintings at the venture in Bangladesh. They will perceive a pilot manufacturing unit, hire an enterprise improvement director and health running shoes, and teach health care employees the way to administer the contraceptive and cope with broader problems of ladies’ fitness. Next 12 months, they hope to feature two or three extra factories, every with approximately 300 workers.
Ebrahim, for one, is assured about The Now Exchange’s prospects.
“Farah and her team have been very clear and systematic in wondering this via,” he stated. “I’m constructive, both due to their clean questioning and because Farah is tremendously stimulated.
Fletcher college students excel in entrepreneurial contests because they’re “thoroughly-traveled and they’re keenly aware of the granularity of the lives human beings live in extraordinary components of the sector, of the bottlenecks on the ground, on occasion logistical, occasionally cultural, and on occasion political,” stated Bhaskar Chakravorti, dean of worldwide commercial enterprise at Fletcher and govt director of the school’s Institute for Business within the Global Context. Student begin-up businesses “tap into the insights students have based on beyond reports and past travels to resolve complicated troubles.”
Beyond The Now Exchange, here are 3 Fletcher scholar tasks that received awards this spring.
AWARD: $5K Second place, Social Impact Track, Tufts $100K New Ventures Competition.
TEAM MEMBERS: Aesclinn Donohue, F20; Mohammad Uzairi, F20.
MISSION: Kisaan (“Farmer”) is an asset-primarily based microfinance product for farmers with small operations in Pakistan. It capabilities flexible compensation schedules and allows contributors to percentage the danger of new investments. It also complies with Islamic monetary norms.