The Female Virologist Behind India’s COVID-19 Testing Kits And Women In Food and Fashion Championing The Business World In 2020

The Woman Behind India’s First Coronavirus Testing Kit

By Ellie Zimmerman

As COVID-19 runs rampant throughout the world, social distancing is suggested and in some regions it is required as a containment measure. However, in a place like Mumbai, India, an immense impoverished population, little to no running water and lack of widespread health care make social distancing and prevention of COVID-19 almost impossible. Moreover, India’s lack of testing kits have significantly impaired Indians’ ability to self-quarantine those infected and protect others from contracting the disease. Fortunately, Minal Dakhave Bhonsle, a virologist at Mylab Discovery, formulated the first Indian-made testing kit just hours before going into labor. Bhonsle put the health of her child and herself at risk in order to serve her country. Bhonsle said, “It was an emergency, so I took this on as a challenge. I had to serve my country.” Her kits were produced in a record time of 6 weeks and have proved to be 100% accurate so far. The test kits cost ¼ of the price of imported testing kits from abroad. Undoubtedly, the selflessness and abnegation of Minal Dakhave Bhonsle has helped to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in India which, in turn, will save thousands of lives. 



The Female Bosses Behind Food Brands

By Julia French and Ana Wilmer

Whole Foods is supporting women founders in their stores and below are some of the extraordinary women behind many successful brands.

Alyza Bohbot, Founder of City Girl Coffee

Alyza Bohbot, Founder of City Girl Coffee makes sure that every cup of her coffee includes female owned farms and strives for females to become prominent figures in the coffee industry. And from reviews across the world, her coffee is absolutely delectable!



Elizabeth Stein, Founder of Purely Elizabeth

First starting off in the fashion industry, Elizabeth Stein entered to study about health and wellness. Leaving her old work, she knew that she wanted to create a food company that would help other people and their diets. Her Purely Elizabeth’s oatmeal, snack bars and granola, are infamously known and loved for being both healthy and delicious. She makes sure that her food is giving back to what she deeply values, like wellness in schools.


Becca Stevens, Founder, Thistle Farms

Thistle Farms is on a mission that desires to be a part in creating amazing candles, skincare, clothing, essential oils, and jewelry. Becca Stevens founded Thistle Farms because she wanted to help female survivors of trafficking and addiction be able to recover and feel empowered. 


Women of Alaffia, Handcrafters, Alaffia

In West African country, Togo, women handcraft unrefined, rich shea butter, giving customers flawless skin. Alaffia makes sure to build her community by giving part of her company’s proceeds to help decrease poverty and improve gender equality. 



Rachel and Jaryd Bernier-Green, Cofounders, Laine’s Bakeshop

With a family-owned bakery, homemade recipes for mouth-watering cakes, cookies, pies, brownies, and puddings. Rachel’s and Jaryd’s main focus for their company and customers is on the ingredients that are being put into these delicious treats. The family makes sure to help their neighborhood thrive by investing in and hiring people in their community. Laine’s Bakeshop follows their motto, “Lead by example”.


Alison Cayne, Founder, Haven’s Kitchen

Her spirit for cooking gives Alison Cayne the desire to start healthier and safer cooking classes, leading her to open a café, and then selling her own sauces at Whole Foods. Alison does everything: from being a mother of five, a renowned chef, an owner, and entrepreneur, she truly does it all. 



How Fashion and Beauty Brands Are Celebrating National Women’s Day

By Amber Carr and Reese Low

In Honor of National Women’s Day, many fashion and beauty brands are honoring/celebrating the important day in Women’s History Month (March). Brands such as Tory Burch, Ba&Sh, Kate Spade and websites such as Net A Porter only are showing respect for this special day of launching new inspired by feminism along with giving donations to different organizations.  

Tory Burch

On March 5th, the company’s foundations hosted an Embrace Ambition Summit where many female activists spoke. Tory Burch also lanches their “Embrace Ambition” tote and bracelet. The proceeds from the “Embrace Ambition” line went towards the Tory Burch Foundation which supports women’s rights. 



Ba&sh created a line saying “Beautiful and Strong” in honor of the strength of women. The brand is donating 100 percent of its proceeds to a charity called Women for Women. This charity helps women war victims in countries undergoing development.   


Kate Spade

Kate Spade created a collection with activist Cleo Wade. The collection is a part of Kate Spade’s “On Purpose” program (a partnership with Kate Spade and a production facility in Masoro, Rwanda. This facility produced leather goods, such as these bags, pouches, etc. The facility employs over 230 women from local communities in Rwanda. The women here are paid decent wages and education on life skills. Rwanda is considered to be one of the top 5 countries in Africa for gender equality. The wages between men and women isn’t very large, but Kate Spade is still being respectable and paying the women working in their factories fair wages.



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