Dignity was born out of Jacinta (22) and Miranda’s (23) experience with period poverty at university, because let’s face it, all good business ideas stem from selfish problems. In November 2016, the pair noticed a piece about New Zealand girls missing school due to their period. After applying for the Viclink Entrepreneur Boot Camp over summer, they now have business creating real impact across 25 schools nationwide.
Dignity sells female sanitary items to businesses who’d like to support their female staff. Each item funds the equivalent for a high school student who lacks access. Their customers include Flick Electric, Xero, ANZ, and Cigna. They support 25 schools across Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch and plan to continue growing.
Through a social enterprise model, Dignity are on a mission to eliminate period poverty and the stigma that menstruating women face.
How do they measure their impact?
Dignity support women who have limited access to sanitary items, either because of cost or because they’ve been caught out in the workplace. They measure their impact through the social enterprise’s ‘Buy one give one’ model. Thanks to their partnerships with national corporate organisations, they’ve given away over 5,000 sanitary items boxes to 25 high schools across New Zealand. As a result, 7% of New Zealand high schools and 5,000 working women have free access to sanitary items.
The company also conducts term-based reports with the schools they support. Within the workplace, they conduct a post-implementation survey to assist with gauging the success of putting Dignity boxes in bathrooms. Most businesses have found a 82% increase in personal support felt by their female employees with Dignity.
Where to from here?
Dignity's goal is to make New Zealand the first country in the world to have free access to sanitary items for all women. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
Find out more at https://www.dignitynz.com/
Jacinta Gulasekharam & Miranda Hitchings
An incorporated business that has charitable status.
Health / wellbeing
Addressing poverty / financial exclusion
Addressing social exclusion / isolation