Barclay Paul Okari is the founder of Impact Africa Industries which was started when he was only 19 in 2011, as a way to help solve a particular problem besetting many girls in Kenya’s rural communities.
As a serial entrepreneur, his journey began with his volunteer work at a girls’ high school in Western Kenya. During this time, he discovered that many female students were missing classes because they couldn’t afford sanitary napkins. This realization deeply affected him and motivated him to find a solution.
Okari’s desire to address the issue of girls missing school due to the lack of affordable sanitary products led to the creation of Safi Pads with a loan of $1500 from his parents and today, thousands of young women in rural areas of western Kenya, rural Uganda and south Sudan are benefitting from his vision for re-usable sanitary pads.
Safi Pad is made up of of an absorbent patch which is patched with cotton and is very comfortable for the ladies to use and can be washed. The pads are therefore washable after use and that helps them go on with their daily activities normally and helps save their hard earned money.
The reusable sanitary towel invented by Mr Okari, Image credit(BlackBusiness.com)
His product, Safi Pads, are made from soft locally-available materials designed to be a cost-effective, reusable, and washable sanitary towel, making them accessible to low-income women. Okari’s remarkable efforts in addressing this critical social issue through entrepreneurship did not go unnoticed as he was recognized as a finalist for the Anzisha Prize, a prestigious pan-African award sponsored by the MasterCard Foundation and the African Leadership Academy. This award acknowledges and rewards outstanding young African entrepreneurs who are making a difference in their communities.
In the next 5-10 years he hopes that Impact Africa Industries will become an African brand having a huge social impact in communities and listed in the stock exchange.