The Girl Effect

Since 2008, the Nike Foundation’s Girl Effect has made big strides in raising awareness and distributing funds to a range of non-profits helping young girls in the developing world. In 2013, they approached fuseproject to help them explore a different approach: instead of giving money, what if we design and produce “physical assets”—tangible products—to help girls?


We began with an audit of the vast existing research landscape and arrived at a simple concepting framework to structure creative ideas. From over 60 initial concepts, we downselected to 20 and ultimately 4, which were developed into working prototypes. These prototypes (along with concept boards, visual theme cards, and discussion guides) were used to facilitate a discussion with girls, parents and other stakeholders during a 2 week research trip in Rwanda.

Based on the input from girls, their community, and broader stakeholders, we aligned on a single asset to push forward: a reusable menstrual pad solution. The insights from our research and design prototypes are currently being incubated by Nike Foundation in the hopes of creating a model for getting tangible products on the market at scale.

social impact

Girls in Rwanda have many basic needs that prevent them from realizing their full potential. fuseproject and the Nike Foundation worked to answer these needs by creating solution-based products supported by sustainable business models. Following a month of fieldwork, product prototype development, and feedback from girls, a washable/reusable sanitary pad design was selected for development. fuseproject then created business models to bring it to market quickly and affordably. We considered the many distribution and sales constraints that surround girls’ access to products in the “last mile,” and built solutions to address them. In total, we built five viable business models and developed risk evaluations for each—helping the Nike Foundation pursue its mission of girls’ empowerment through financially-sustainable endeavors.



  • Core77 Design Awards

    • Runner Up, Nike Foundation + Girl Effect Strategy and Research, 2014

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