Working mothers in developing markets, like Kenya, face an impossible trade-off: stay at home to breastfeed their newborn or return to work to support their families. One million Kenyan mothers give birth annually and only 10 percent manage to balance optimal breastfeeding practices with returning to work postpartum. Policies mandating lactation rooms at workplaces are not well-enforced, especially in the informal sector where many mothers work. Unfortunately, the impact of this can be fatal, as optimal breastfeeding reduces the likelihood of infant mortality by 14 times.
Maziwa’s discreet, efficient, and portable design allows mothers to express breastmilk in any workplace.
Fitting discreetly underneath clothing, it allows mothers to pump without being exposed, in lieu of a dedicated lactation space. Maziwa’s battery-powered suction with USB charging allows mothers to express breastmilk efficiently and wirelessly throughout the workday, and the portable cooler means mothers can transport breastmilk safely.
Maziwa was designed with value in mind, coming in at a fraction of the cost of baby formula. Mothers can opt to pay in instalments, or rent the pump through employers or clinics. Maziwa’s network of Community Breastfeeding Ambassadors (CBAs) also provide support and breastfeeding education to new mothers.
By 2025, Maziwa aims to impact 70,000 mothers and newborns annually in Kenya, and 70,000 annually in Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Malawi. Maziwa will engage another 250,000 women through breastfeeding education and social media content across East Africa.
Only 7 percent of Kenyan mothers use breast pumps to support breastmilk expression at the workplace, versus 75 percent in the US. Closing this gap completely could generate a $34 million opportunity per year in Kenya alone. Meanwhile, the entire African market of 35 million mothers and newborns is valued at $600 million per year.
Won Kellogg School of Management’s Social Entrepreneur of Year grant worth $70,000
Named Poets and Quants Most Disruptive Start-Ups 2019
Won Audience Favorite and Social Impact Awards at Northwestern's largest annual start-up competition
Featured in Northwestern Magazine’s 150 Years of Women Celebration
Maziwa currently seeks:
Expert guidance on developing product pricing and distribution strategy
Advice on legal structuring and fundraising approach for global, hybrid social enterprise