Elizabeth Scharpf

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Elizabeth Scharpf

2008 Fellow
Founder of Sustainable Health Enterprises

Elizabeth Scharpf 2008 Fellow

Bold Idea 

Amplify girls' and women's economic potential by launching female-run franchises that manufacture and distribute low priced, high-quality, environmentally-friendly sanitary pads.


Elizabeth is the Chief Instigating Officer at Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE), a social venture recognized by Harvard Business School, the NYTimes’ Nick Kristof, and Bill Clinton for shaking up the status quo in the international development industry by using business solutions (rather than the charity/donation-only approach) to tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. SHE’s first initiative is SHE28 which addresses girls' and women's lack of access to affordable menstrual pads in Africa, Asia, and South America causing them to miss school and/or work. SHE is currently helping women roll out a franchise model in Rwanda manufacturing and distributing affordable, eco-friendly menstrual pads by sourcing local, inexpensive raw materials (e.g., banana fibers) and leveraging existing female networks. Prior to SHE, Elizabeth was starting up other ventures or advising businesses on growth strategies around the world at Cambridge Pharma Consultancy, the Clinton Foundation, and the World Bank. Elizabeth has an MBA and MPA-International Development from Harvard and a BA from the University of Notre Dame. Despite all the academic acronyms, she thinks her best education has come from talking with those sitting next to her on buses around the world.

Learn More
  • 2008
  • Fellow
  • Civil & Human Rights
  • Health & Healthcare
  • Poverty Alleviation & Economic Development
  • Hybrid
  • Africa
  • Rwanda

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