There are an estimated four billion people living in low-income communities that are underserved in terms of access to affordable quality consumer goods, food, and sanitation facilities. They are commonly referred to as the Base of the Pyramid (BoP). At the same time, many women in these communities are unemployed or underemployed. These women constitute a huge untapped source of entrepreneurial potential and are also likely to invest their earnings in the needs of their families including education.
Traditional distribution channels for manufactured food and consumer goods typically end in small urban centers. People living in rural areas are forced to use relatively expensive public transport, and expend significant amounts of time accessing those urban outlets. In general, there is a total absence of third-party distribution enterprises to bridge the gap between rural consumers and formal sector manufacturers.
Chakipi Haiti, a replication of CGEP’s first distribution business in Peru, supplies locally recruited and trained female entrepreneurs with a basket of food, personal care, and home care products on microcredit, purchased from key suppliers including Deka (local), Cassis Frères (local), and Rice Co (local). The women sell these products and the commission they earn on sales increases their incomes, while Haitian consumers gain access to essential products that were previously unavailable or too expensive. Entrepreneurs sell in local markets, door-to-door, or from storefronts in their homes. Chakipi Haiti also partners with local community leaders, including its entrepreneurs, to gather data, collect insights into local communities, and verify consumer buying habits to determine the best assortment of products to sell.
Chakipi Haiti has received support and investment from CGEP and Fundación Carlos Slim in the amounts of $300,000 each, pilot funding from the Clinton Foundation Haiti team in the amount of $160,000, and $165,000 in funding from Unilever to support the business scale-up. As of the end of 2015, the Chakipi Haiti program had trained nearly 900 entrepreneurs in Haiti and secured support and investment from CGEP, Fundación Carlos Slim, and the Clinton Foundation Haiti team to scale their pilot program to a national enterprise.
As of the end of 2016, the enterprise had trained nearly 850 female women, providing them with the tools and products to become entrepreneurs selling food, personal care and home-care products in their low-income communities. By the end of December 2016, nearly 250 female entrepreneurs were actively engaged in Chakipi in various rural and urban areas of Haiti.