Pakistani start-up She-Guard wins Asia-Pacific green business competition

Pakistan, November 10, 2023She-Guard, a start-up from Pakistan, placed first at the ClimateLaunchpad Asia-Pacific finals with its innovative biodegradable and plastic-free sanitary product. The start-up aims to turn banana crop waste into biodegradable, plastic-free, and affordable sanitary napkins, helping to solve the entangled challenges of climate change, health issues, and solid waste that Pakistan is facing.  

Plastic, chemical-based sanitary napkins are used by around 23 million Pakistani women. An alarming number of tens of millions of women globally face insurmountable challenges in managing their periods due to the unavailability or unaffordability of essential sanitary products. “We are grateful for the support of ClimateLaunchpad and proud of all women involved in She-Guard. All women should be able to enjoy the basic right to hygienically manage their periods. We are committed to achieving this in a sustainable way,” says Mehreen Raza, founder and CEO of She-Guard. 

She-Guard competed alongside 172 other teams from six countries in the ClimateLaunchpad Asia-Pacific Finals on 10 November, hosted by national partner Centre4 Creativity & Sustainability, and funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland (Irish Aid). 

ClimateLaunchpad is the world’s largest green business competition for climate innovators held on four continents around the world. Since 2013, the programme has been orchestrated by EIT Climate-KIC, Europe’s leading climate innovation initiative.

A climate solution that connects climate sustainability to the social-economic situation of women

The Climatelaunchpad jury selected She-Guard due to its realistic and scalable business plan, recognising its potential to significantly impact both sustainability and the socio-economic circumstances of women globally. As part of the ClimateLaunchpad programme, over 170 competing teams from Asia-Pacific participated in boot camps where they received business training. The top eight teams pitched their ideas on an international stage in the final round of competition held virtually on 10 November.

Runner-up and third place

The runner-up was Alternō from Vietnam, with its low-cost thermal energy storage solution for renewable energy and the distribution of heat, intended for use in drying agricultural products such as tea, coffee, and rice. Start-up Aonbarr from Japan placed third with its idea that uses seawater to generate hydrogen as a green energy source. 

More detailed information on all 2023 finalists:

“For all its intense challenges, confronting the climate emergency is an opportunity to draw inspiration from the natural world and innovate for positive change. For the last ten years, ClimateLaunchpad has been a vibrant platform for individuals who care to make a difference to seize this opportunity and take the first steps towards developing climate solutions through entrepreneurship across the spectrum of adaptation and resilience, blue economy, circular economy, clean energy, food systems, sustainable mobility and urban transformation. As we applaud this year’s winners, we encourage all aspiring and passionate innovators to connect, collaborate and build a fair, beautiful, and climate-resilient society together,” says Kirsten Dunlop, CEO EIT Climate-KIC

More Finals coming up
The Asia Pacific Regional Final will be held on 10 November, the Latin American & Caribbean Regional Final on 16 November, and European Regional Final on 17 November.  

The live stream of the African Final is available here:

About ClimateLaunchpad

ClimateLaunchpad, the world’s largest green business ideas competition, celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2023. Its mission is to unlock the world’s cleantech potential that addresses climate change. A green future demands thousands of innovations challenging the current business models. The competition supports aspiring and promising cleantech entrepreneurs with training, coaching, and networking opportunities. ClimateLaunchpad operates on a global scale, currently in 49 countries. ClimateLaunchpad was established in 2014 and is part of the entrepreneurship offerings of EIT Climate-KIC.

Since its start, ClimateLaunchpad has attracted up to 15,222 ideas that resulted in 4,487 teams trained to become a green entrepreneur. The ClimateLaunchpad programme is run in close collaboration with local partners (National Partner Organisations). It is organised by the ClimateLaunchpad team, based out of the Innovation & Impact Centre of Delft University of Technology, in The Netherlands.

About EIT Climate-KIC

EIT Climate-KIC is Europe’s leading climate innovation agency and community, using a systems approach to shape innovation to support cities, regions, countries and industries meet their climate ambitions. Together with partners across the globe, EIT Climate-KIC acts to bridge the gap climate commitments and current reality by enabling decision makers to investors to act. They find and implement solutions in integrated ways and mobilise finance. They build skills to accelerate learning and explore innovation, opening pathways to shift mindsets and behaviours. Through radical collaboration, EIT Climate-KIC orchestrates large-scale demonstrations that show what is possible when cycles of innovation and learning are deliberately designed to trigger exponential decarbonisation and build resilient communities.

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