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CSR Partner: Living Goods

Saving lives and creating jobs in Africa

In Africa, lack of access to quality healthcare causes millions of preventable deaths. Drawing on a proven micro-entrepreneurial model—the Avon lady—Living Goods combines door-to-door sales with mobile technology. Women sell low-cost, quality health and household goods within their communities, helping neighbors while achieving their own financial security.

Between making a living and making a difference

See how Cisco helps entrepreneurs fight poverty using mobile technology to sell products that promote health.

    Mobile phones as business accelerators

    Cisco funded the development of a mobile technology platform to add sophisticated digital capabilities to Living Goods’ “business in a bag” toolkit. The platform enables Community Health Promoters (CHPs), as the sales agents are known, to operate their businesses more efficiently while offering more services to their customers.

    • With digitization, one CHP can serve 500 to 1000 people
    • 100% of Living Goods’ CHPs in Uganda use its Android platform
    • CHPs use SMS to register every pregnant women and newborn child in the community
    • Follow-up text messages promote healthy pregnancies, safe deliveries, and newborn care
    • A treatment app reminds customers to administer follow-up rounds of malaria, diarrhea, or respiratory infection medications
    • CHPs can text customers directly about product and health tips and upcoming sales promotions; for example, Living Good saw a 300% increase in sales of clean cook stoves after a mobile promotion.

    Mobile platform will support tens of millions

    The mobile platform supports a big vision—to improve the health and wealth of 50 million people in need by 2025. The efficiencies, cost savings, and knowledge gained from digitization is enabling Living Goods to hire more CHPs, reach more beneficiaries, and continue to move toward financial sustainability.

    • A 2013 Harvard Kennedy School of Government report found that the presence of Living Goods saleswomen in a village increased the use of malaria medicines by children by almost 40 percent
    • There is a 50% lower likelihood of pharmacies having counterfeit medicines in regions where Living Goods operates
    • 95% of CHPs report that Living Goods has taught them skills that will help get them another job or start a business
    • The average CHP earns US$135 per year; the added income is enough to cover school fees for two to three children.

    The impact on lives and livelihoods

    5 million+ people received health and hygiene information and products

    6500 community health promoters improve their financial security

    27% reduction in under-five child mortality in communities where Living Goods operates

    Living Goods is building an innovative double-bottom line model that empowers micro-entrepreneurs to earn an income by dramatically improving the health, wealth, and productivity of people living in poverty.

    Ray Chambers, UN Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Malaria

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    Visit Living Goods

    Learn more about how Living Goods works and makes an impact