"Simple healthcare and hygiene solutions for women in developing countries."
Entrepreneurs: Liita Iyaloo Cairney
College/School: Political and Social Science
The Story: Liita Iyaloo Cairney, born in Namibia, moved to Scotland to pursue her PhD in Global Health Policy. Liita wanted to solve the problem that women all over the world – but particularly in her home country – face every month: the recurrent cost of the existing menstrual hygiene products on the market is often prohibitive for girls and women with little or no regular income. Liita founded her company Kalitasha in 2013, and with the help of a SMART proof-of-concept grant followed by a Royal Society of Edinburgh Enterprise Fellowship and private investment, Liita was able to prototype and test her ideas.
Kalitasha aims to enable women to effectively and affordably manage their menstrual period so that they can find dignity in every day. Through a series of design iterations and prototypes, Liita has developed a product called Koree, an externally worn and reusable menstrual hygiene device that provides both functional and psychological protection against menstrual leakage onto garments. The patent-pending Koree, which will be manufactured in the UK, protects against leakage through a unique two-part system: a shell and a removable absorption pad. The Koree will initially benefit users who are generally unable to afford the hygiene products currently available on the market or who have restricted access to these products.