MEDAx 2018: Creating pathways for future innovators

December 31, 2018 | Web First
Conrad Grebel University College
Pictured from left to right: CPA director Paul Heidebrecht, and SheCycle members Abby Loewen, Isaac Beech, Daniel Schuurman, Mykayla Turner, Anna Kuepfer and Leah Wouda. (Photo courtesy of Conrad Grebel University College)

A team of six students from Conrad Grebel University College participated in MEDAx, a conference that was part of the larger Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) conference, held in November 2018, in Indianapolis. 

MEDAx culminated in a $5,000 pitch competition to foster innovation for emerging social entrepreneurs. The Grebel team and SheLeads founder and Epp Peace Incubator participant Cassie Myers, both with connections to the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement (CPA), were two of the four finalists. 

The Grebel team pitched an idea for a product called SheCycle, a reusable sanitary pad for women in Uganda that is made from local resources. It is environmentally sustainable, safe for women to use, and prevents infections. 

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Distributed with educational resources and sold in markets, the pad is meant to help improve women’s health through a market-based solution. 

“It was exciting to be a part of a community that supported and challenged each other, and welcomed newcomers like myself with open arms, said SheCycle team member Leah Wouda. 

“One of the most hopeful things I saw was a curiosity in each person. Each person that I spoke with asked me about myself and what brought me to MEDA, and they were equally willing to share about their experiences. These stories are what brought MEDA to life for me as an excellent example of a sustainable community.”

Pictured from left to right: CPA director Paul Heidebrecht, and SheCycle members Abby Loewen, Isaac Beech, Daniel Schuurman, Mykayla Turner, Anna Kuepfer and Leah Wouda. (Photo courtesy of Conrad Grebel University College)

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