CIIE Leads Investment In Aakar Innovations, Affordable Sanitary Napkins Company

A group of impact investors and alumni of IIM and IIT have come together to invest an undisclosed amount in Aakar Innovations; a portfolio company of IIM Ahmedabad’s Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) working in the domain of affordable sanitary napkins for rural Indian women.

The investment round was led by CIIE with further participation from Artha Platform,  philanthropy community in India. The investment was carried out under the ACT for Impact Programme at CIIE, focusing on using alumni connections to bring more angel capital into the ecosystem.

Aakar Innovations
Aakar is a hybrid social enterprise that manufactures high-quality, compostable and hygienic sanitary pads, which are priced below other branded, competitive products. These pads are produced and sold by women entrepreneurs in their own villages. Their not-for-profit arm trains rural women to run manufacturing units and create awareness about menstrual hygiene. As a part of this arm, Aakar has started a crowdfunding campaign called “Freedom from Shame” to raise donations.
They have so far sold 22 machines across India of which 15 units are operational and the rest 7 will be functional by mid-December. These machines, which are usually set up in rural villages and urban-slum areas, have led to the direct employment of over 200 women.

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