A Sustainability Trend Setter
Celebrating Greenpad Concepts the 2017 Uturn Africa Budding Enterpreneur Winner who went home with $$!
Damilola Samuel Mutiu, a YALI alumnus, Tony Elumelu Alumnus and Leap Africa Fellow, is a social innovator, entrepreneur and founder of GreenPad Concepts, a social enterprise that uses locally available raw materials to provide solution to the problem bereaving rural Nigeria girls of their education and health.
Damilola started his journey as an entrepreneur working to help farmers in Ondo, Nigeria to build agripreneurship skills. But while working within farming communities, Samuel noticed a pattern: rural girls regularly missed school for about 4-5 a month and stayed home because they didn’t have the means to cope with hygiene during their periods. As an agripreneur and social innovator himself, Damilola saw an opportunity. Banana and plantain stem fiber, readily available as a by-product of banana farms in the area, could be used to produce absorbent and inexpensive sanitary napkins locally to help girls maintain menstrual hygiene at affordable cost.
Today, his startup, Greenpad Concepts, helps rural women join together in coops that extract the fiber and sell the raw material back to Greenpad. The company’s prototype costs 50% less than currently available sanitary pads. And while commercial pads remain in the environment for 500-800 years, GreenPads biodegrade in only 6 months. His local made biodegradable sanitary pad product earned him Microsoft “#Insider4Good” award for innovation. Part of a new initiative at Microsoft designed to support promising entrepreneurs with extraordinary solutions to social problems.
His friend Michael Olorunfemi the founder of Phambook enterprise who is also an alumnusof Tony Elumelu Foundation nominated him for UTURN AFRICA conference as a showcase participant. It was a great opportunity for Damilola as he leveraged on the Uturn Africa showcase platform to pitch his idea to potential investors and network with mentors who have immensely contributed to the success of GreenPad Concepts. GreenPad concept came first in the Uturn Africa 2017 entrepreneur showcase competition and won a cash prize as seed capital into the growth of GreenPads business. www.greenpadconcepts.com
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