Barclay Okari is the founder of Impact Industries, a company that manufactures affordable, reusable sanitary pads.
He started the company when he was only 19, as a way to solve a particular problem besetting many girls in Kenya’s rural communities.
He volunteered for a teaching job at a girls’ school in Narok, a small town in south-western Kenya. While at the school, he observed that a great number of the girls were missing classes.
He discovered that most of them were missing school due to their monthly periods as they could not afford sanitary pads.
This was when it dawned on Barclay that there was a market for an affordable product that can greatly benefit girls and women in rural Kenya.
Taking a loan of $1,500 from his parents, and combining it with his own savings, Barclay set out to develop Safi Pads, an affordable, washable and reusable sanitary towel.
Today, his company has sold these pads to hundreds of thousands of women in Kenya and Uganda.
Barclay was listed among the 30 most promising young entrepreneurs in Africa from 2014-2016 by Forbes. He was also a speaker at the Global Entrepreneurship summit in Morocco organised by the American Government.