The Institute for Reproductive Health at Georgetown University (IRH) congratulates Leslie Heyer, Founder of Cycle Technologies and Director of the Solutions for Unmet Need in Family Planning (SUN-FP) program, for being named one of 50 most talented social innovators by the World CSR Congress!
SUN-FP is a collaboration between IRH and Cycle Technologies with a goal to provide millions of women with basic information and innovative solutions that enable them to manage their fertility, avoid unintended pregnancies and achieve pregnancies when they are ready to conceive.
WASHINGTON, DC February 10, 2015 – The World CSR Congress named Cycle Technologies’ Founder Leslie Heyer to its list of the 50 Most Talented Social Innovators. The award, to be presented in Mumbai, India on February 18th, honors those individuals who are committed to corporate social responsibility and have made a significant contribution to society using innovative approaches.
“I am extremely honored to be nominated. It’s exciting to be recognized with these great individuals and their companies for our work and commitment to addressing global challenges” said Heyer.
Cycle Technologies develops and brings to market, simple effective solutions to solve global health issues with an emphasis on reproductive health. Through its Solutions for Unmet Need in Family Planning (SUN-FP) program, the company has partnered with the Institute for Reproductive Health, a research organization based at Georgetown University, to develop, test, and make available family planning options that address many of the reasons that women cite for not using contraception or using it inconsistently.
Heyer says, “Rather than taking the typical “top-down” perspective which focuses on the needs of health providers and programs, we’ve taken a novel approach. We start by asking women what they want. It allows us to meet their needs with truly unique products and services.”
The simple, effective fertility awareness-based options developed under SUN-FP have been made available in over 60 countries with a particular emphasis on those areas and populations with significant unmet need for contraception. The most widely recognized of these family planning options – CycleBeads® – has helped prevent an estimated 4.5 million unplanned pregnancies worldwide and helped over 750,000 women plan their pregnancies successfully.
The key to the program’s success is maintaining a focus on the end goal and involving a variety of stakeholders. According to Heyer, “Our mission is to help prevent unplanned pregnancies by creating and making available family planning options that address women’s needs for effective, side-effect free solutions that they can access readily. Preventing unplanned pregnancies makes a huge difference for women, their families, and their communities. Keeping a laser focus on our end goal has allowed us to overcome a lot of obstacles and stay motivated.”
In addition she says, “Family planning is a political, contentious field, and can be challenging to navigate. It would not be possible for our work to have the impact it’s had, without the efforts of many talented and knowledgeable people both at the international level and on the ground in the areas where we are trying to have the greatest impact.”
Heyer has 20+ years of experience in business development, strategy, and communications as well as a deep expertise in entrepreneurial management and global women’s health. Prior to starting Cycle Technologies, she was on the founding team of two software companies and managed advertising accounts for global brands. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Georgetown University.