There are an estimated 2 billion people living in low-income rural communities that are underserved in terms of access to affordable quality consumer goods, food, and pro-poor innovations such as cookstoves and solar lamps. At the same time, many women in these communities are unemployed or underemployed while being solely responsible for their children and parents. 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, consumer goods, and in particular pro-poor innovations in developing countries typically end in small urban centers. At this point, people living in rural areas are forced to use relatively expensive public transport, and expend significant amounts of non-productive 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.
Our distribution enterprises close the market gap for last-mile distribution by empowering unemployed and underemployed women in remote and peri-urban communities as a door-to-door distribution network. We partner with local community leaders and prospective entrepreneurs to gather data, collect insights into local communities, and verify consumer buying habits to determine the best assortment of products to sell to low-income communities. We bring products to remote collection points where the “Chakipi” (meaning “to your home” in Quechua, a native Andean language) entrepreneurs meet and individually select those goods most suited to their communities, empowering their entrepreneurial spirit. We engage with thousands of women in rural and peri-urban communities to provide them with new livelihood opportunities while developing new business skills.
Our model is unique in that we have a broad and dynamic range of products which allows us to achieve maximum penetration and higher financial viability relative to mission based solutions that are focused on a single product type. We partner with large multinational and regional strategic suppliers (manufacturers) who provide key discounts for anchor products.
We provide a business opportunity for corporations such as Unilever, Nestlé and Claro, as they are able to tap into new markets at the base of the pyramid.
We offer an investment opportunity in enterprises on a case by case basis for social investors. Additionally, donors can provide grants for entrepreneur training or uniforms, or for use as enterprise capital. All such forms of participation will help to scale the number of producers we are able to include, magnifying these businesses’ social impact.