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.
In 2013, CGEP launched their first inclusive distribution business in one of the most rural and remote parts of Peru.
CGEP equips entrepreneurs with a basket of products such as personal care items, nutritious foods, and unique innovations such as solar lamps for sale to their communities. The overall enterprise goal is to 1) create new livelihoods for the entrepreneurs and 2) to increase access and affordability of essential goods to rural and peri-urban communities. The expected long-term impact is improved quality of living for the entrepreneurs, their families, and communities.
Chakipi Peru currently operates in Cusco, Puno, and Lima. Chakipi Peru recruits and trains the women on sales techniques, customer service, inventory management, and basic financial transactions, equipping them with the needed knowledge to be successful and confident salespeople.
Chakipi also adds items into their entrepreneurs’ product baskets that focus on addressing personal care and nutritional needs. The broad range of more than 50 products are made available at discounted prices through companies like Molitalia, Quaker (PepsiCo) Claro, and Endev Giz. These partners also engage with the Chakipi entrepreneurs in product training. All products are made available at strategically located meeting points in rural and peri-urban communities throughout Peru.
The social impact CGEP has observed extends beyond improving women’s livelihoods to empowering them with new skills, facilitating community engagement, and increasing communities' access to essential goods. All of these factors contribute to a higher quality of living for the entrepreneurs, their families, and their communities. As of December 2016, the enterprise had trained more than 1,000 women in Peru, providing them with the tools and products to become entrepreneurs selling food, personal care and home-care products in their low-income communities.