Living Goods’ Avon-style model is more than a novelty, it saves livesThe nonprofit organization Living Goods garnered buzz soon after its 2007 founding. The group’s community health promoters, as the women are called, act as both businesswomen and frontline health workers. 4 Social Enterprises You Should Know AboutOver the past several years, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of social enterprises—or-profit ventures with social objectives at their core—working to solve some of the world’s most pressing needs.How technology is attracting new capital to improve health systemsAngela Natukunda, manager for the Masajja, Uganda, branch of Living Goods, recently shared a story of a community health promoter whose door to door experience stuck with her. The innovators: devices and services to improve maternal and child healthFrom Cameroon’s kangaroo mother care to affordable health insurance in Nigeria.Selling Health Door-to-DoorChuck Slaughter’s organization Living Goods trains workers to teach better health and sell medicine and other products in African villages.If You Think She Looks Like An Avon Lady, You’re Half RightIn the 1990s Chuck Slaughter built the online clothing retailer, TravelSmith, from a startup to a company with sales in excess of $100 million a year. Then he signed up to be an Avon lady.Five daring disruptors win US$1.25M each to help them change the worldFor centuries, well-intended social workers, governments and institutions have failed to solve the problems of chronic disease, child mortality, prejudice and violence. But now business is having a go — and the successes are piling up.An ‘Avon-Like’ Approach to Lifesaving Health CareSocial entrepreneur Chuck Slaughter takes a page from the beauty giant’s business model to treat malaria, cut child mortality rates, and more.Data to the Rescue: Smart Ways of Doing Good"Phones with a specialized app are key to the organization’s approach. When an agent suspects that a customer has malaria or another serious malady, she enters into an app the person’s replies to a series of simple questions. The answers drive an algorithm that helps her make a diagnosis."These Door-To-Door Drug Deliveries Help Save Lives In Sub-Saharan Africa"If trusted drug stores aren't around, why not have the drug store—and a trained health worker—come to you? One solution to ending deaths from malaria was inspired by the Avon Lady.
Malaria isn't hard to treat with the right drugs. But over 1,200 children die from it every day, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa."Game Changer? Ugandans Buy Life-Saving Drugs Through ‘Avon Lady’ Business Model“For the women themselves the company provides low-cost financing and support, as well an excellent way to supplement the family income. Like the Avon ladies, Sauda Baubidia and her colleagues buy the product at a discount before selling it on at a small profit. Baubidia says working for the company '“has moved [her] from zero to a hero…'”Expanding Door-to-Door Sales in the Developing World"Living Goods works with sales agents in Uganda and Kenya, but it also advises other organizations — including Population Services International, CARE and BRAC — to scale this model worldwide."Avon’s Door-to-Door Model Adopted in Uganda“With a $75 loan, women in Uganda are being turned into entrepreneurs… And buying in bulk means these female entrepreneurs can get the products cheaply and cut out the travel costs for their customers.”
The Avon of Africa: How Micro-Entrepreneurs Can Fight Poverty“Slaughter was inspired to create Living Goods after learning that Avon, the door-to-door cosmetics sales company, started in rural America in 1876, when villages lacked access to quality goods and women had few job opportunities."Ding-dong! Living Goods Calling with Life-Changing Products“'Nothing about what we do is a handout,'” Living Goods’ CEO says. “'It’s really about empowerment. It’s about giving people the tools they need to improve on their own…'”The Best Small Ideas of 2012"New organizations like Living Goods in Uganda help poor people start businesses selling medicines, nutritionally fortified foods, or water filters to villagers who otherwise wouldn’t know about or be able to buy these products."Harnessing Market Forces to Fight Fake Drugs"For our study, we partnered up with the NGOs BRAC and Living Goods in Uganda, and went door-to-door selling authentic antimalarials at a price 20-25% lower than that prevailing in the local market." Living Goods Interview at the Omidyar Network Executive Forum"Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the Living Goods model is almost infinitely scaleable and can be applied to almost any good – thus making life easier for any enterprising company with a live changing product looking for a market.”Responsibility Pioneers: How Companies and Consumers are Changing the World“While charity funds and government aid can be short-term and unpredictable, Living Goods' model offers long-term stability. But the organization's economic impact on Uganda goes beyond empowering new entrepreneurs — it makes the country healthier.”How Health Care Nonprofit Living Goods Learned a Lesson From Avon Ladies"'We retail a child's dose of malaria medicine for 75 cents," Slaughter says. "For most women, to transport their sick kid to a facility and back costs 75 cents each way. We are cheaper than free.'”Selling Sisters: Retail in Developing Countries“Now a growing number of women entrepreneurs in poor countries are selling everything from soap and nutrition to medicine and solar lamps. Living Goods, which operates in Uganda, offers a smattering of 70 products, including clean-burning stoves, anti-malarial drugs and toiletries…”How One Social Enterprise Is Leading the Fight Against Malaria“The more than 1,000 Living Goods agents sell genuine ACTs and other products at a deep discount to the retail price. Now, they are helping other organizations adopt the model…”The ‘Avon Ladies’ of Africa“Living Goods has a very promising model. It brings goods the poor need to their doorsteps, at below-market prices. Most important, Living Goods is building a business with the potential to sustain itself — it has already hit some important milestones."