A recent study by UNESCO shows that in Africa, one in every 10 girls misses school when menstruating, mostly because of the inability to afford menstrual products. This has a significant impact on their education and general quality of lives as young girls. Olivia Onyemaobi, 2016 TEF Alumna, is addressing this issue through her business, Pad-Up Creations.
Pad-Up Creations is a social company that produces washable and reusable sanitary pads in Africa. The business is motivated by a mission to give sustainable solutions to the menstrual problems faced by rural and low-income girls/women in Africa. The company prides itself in creating products that are 100% chemical free, body friendly, affordable, and durable.
Since its inception, Pad-Up Creations has developed a diverse line of menstrual management products such as Pad-Up sanitary pads, Pad-Up padded pants, panty liner, menstrual belt and iPadUp ovulation bracelet. Pad-Up Creation now employs 93 Nigerians, majority of whom are women.
It is estimated that more than 500 million women and young girls experience period poverty every month around the world. Over the years, Pad-Up Creations has distributed over 1million kits, making a significant reduction in the number of African girls that use unhygienic materials to care for their menstruation. The outstanding impact by Pad-Up means that more girls will remain in schools during their menstrual days while more women will be involved in meaningful economic activities in Africa.
Pad-Up has seen up to 68% improvement in menstrual hygiene practices in the locations where they currently operate. They have successfully trained over 400,000 girls and women on menstrual hygiene management and reproductive health. They have distribution of their washable and reusable menstrual kits across 13 African countries.
An increase in demand led to an expansion of the Pad-Up production unit to a 200 people capacity building, located in Minna, Niger state. Indeed, Pad-Up is well on its way to being among the top 5 leading organisations manufacturing women sanitary products in world – a vision that Olivia had from the start of her entrepreneurial journey.