Chuck Slaughter

Organization: 
Living Goods
Year founded: 
2007
Country: 
USA
Website: 

Living Goods seeks to reinvent how the poor access vital goods and services, leading to significant gains in the health and wealth of families living in poverty.

Focus: Micro-franchising, health, economic development
Geographic Area of Impact: Uganda
Model: Hybrid Not-for-Profit
Number of Direct Beneficiaries: 265,568
Annual Budget: US $3.8 million
Percent Earned Revenue: 23%
Recognition: Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2013

Background
More than a billion people live without access to life-saving medicines, electricity, clean water, safe cook stoves, fortified foods, and many other essential products consumers in the developed world take for granted every day. Sustainable and scalable distribution systems are needed to address this challenge.

Innovation and Activities
Living Goods seeks to reinvent how the poor access vital goods and services, leading to significant gains in the health and wealth of families living in poverty. Living Goods empowers networks of ‘Avon-like’ micro-entrepreneurs who go door-to-door teaching families how to improve their health and wealth while selling life-changing products like simple treatments for malaria and diarrhea, fortified foods, safe delivery kits for pregnant mothers, clean cook stoves, and solar lights. Living Goods is also a powerful engine of economic development, improving livelihoods by providing micro-entrepreneurs a reliable source of income, keeping wage earners healthy and productive, and giving low-income families access to affordable products. By combining the best practices of microfinance, franchising, direct selling and public health, Living Goods is creating a fully sustainable system to improve the health, wealth, and productivity of the world’s poor.
Living Goods franchises its brand and business model to micro-entrepreneurs who work as independent agents, or franchisees. Living Goods earns income by selling products wholesale to its agents with a modest margin. Agents receive health and business training, financing, and a “Business in a Bag” including uniforms, signage, and basic health and business tools. Living Goods supports its agents from branch-warehouses, each within walking distance of 30-150 agents. Agents serve their clients via door-to-door visits, home-based stores, community meetings, weekly markets, and by using mobile phones to offer an on-call service for clients in need of prompt treatment or product delivery. They also register pregnant women, provide free pregnancy and infant check-ups, make referrals to public health centres and track basic health records on their clients. Field staff carefully monitor and mentor agents on a monthly basis. Key elements of the Living Goods model include: