Female inventor of reusable tampon applicator wins innovation award

Female entrepreneur Celia Pool.

Female entrepreneur Celia Pool designed the world's first organic cotton tampon applicator. - Credit: Celia Pool

A Hackney woman has been recognised as one of the UK's most visionary female entrepreneurs after she designed a reusable tampon applicator.

Celia Pool, 39, from Hackney, is one of 40 female entrepreneurs to win a Women in Innovation Award and receive a cash injection of £50,000 into her business. 

The funding aims to allow winners to scale up and bring to market novel innovations and business ideas, many of which were born in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Women in Innovation is a scheme established by Innovate UK, a non-departmental public body which is part of UK Research and Innovation, the national funding agency investing in science and research. 

Entrepreneur Celia Pool said she is "so happy that awards like this exist...highlight[ing] how important it is to have women in innovation".

Celia set up her company DAME to make more sustainable period products.

She has designed the world's first reusable tampon applicator for DAME tampons, which are toxin-free. The brand also recently launched reusable pads.

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Celia is also planning a five-day programme to share her skills with 20 girls from the UK from diverse backgrounds so they can learn about launching their own innovative products. 

Science Minister Amanda Solloway announced the group of 40 female entrepreneurs who were chosen for the scheme, 12 of whom are from London, on March 8 to mark International Women's Day 2021.

The minister said: “As we build back better, it’s a priority of mine that we continue equipping our brightest female innovators with the tools they need to succeed, while encouraging a new generation of women to come forward and pursue their ambitions.

“I’m delighted we are supporting 40 of our most trailblazing female entrepreneurs, helping them to turn their innovative ideas and aspirations into a reality, creating the products and services that will help improve all our lives, while powering up the UK’s economic recovery.”

Innovate UK launched Women in Innovation in 2016 after research revealed that just one in seven applications for Innovate UK support came from women. The government believes boosting the number of female entrepreneurs could deliver billions to the UK economy. 

Female entrepreneurs can find out more about Innovate UK support at www.ktn-uk.org/programme/women-in-innovation/

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