Following the publication of our March 21 article about Soapy’s off-grid, sun-powered hygiene stations to improve child health in India, CEO Max Simonovsky started noticing higher traffic on the social-impact startup’s website.
And that was only the beginning.
“Since your wonderful article was published we are receiving feedback and inquiries from all over the world — Liberia, Nigeria, US, Haiti, India, Mexico, Uganda, Ethiopia, Israel and much more,” he tells ISRAEL21c.
“The article was shared by 3,000 people on Facebook and then shared again and again on Facebook and Twitter. The Embassy of Israel in India tweeted the story and shared it on their Facebook page too. So we had a lot of people approaching us. I can’t even explain how much it means to me personally and to Soapy’s team.”
Founded in 2017, Soapy designed self-sustaining hygiene stations with a smart system that produces an accurate dose of soap mixed with water pulled directly from the atmosphere for every approaching hand-washer automatically.
Local stakeholders partner with the Israeli startup to install the units in community centers, clinics or schools and develop educational programs to encourage handwashing. Each community pays a token fee to the partnering NGO or other franchise to cover maintenance and consumables.
The first Soapy Stations in India were set up through Swasti Health Catalyst, a nonprofit that implements social innovations to ensure health and wellbeing of marginalized Indian communities.
Among the inquiries Simonovsky received as a result of the ISRAEL21c article was one from the chairman of a church in Haiti that supports 400 children. Another came from someone looking for partnership opportunities in Nigeria.
Several American NGOs that operate in developing countries and in refugee camps also contacted Soapy.
“We can really track that it all started with your publication,” says Simonovsky, who is fielding requests from the Israeli media for interviews.
Now it’s a matter of building the capacity to meet the demand generated by the article.
“We are doing a seed round, looking for investors or anyone who wants to support what we are doing in order to scale up and extend Soapy’s reach everywhere we can. We see a lot of people need this product but to make it happen we need outside funding,” says Simonovsky.
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