Entrepreneurship necessarily involves risk, and for many individuals in the developing world the stakes prove too high to chance. One San Francisco-based company is honing a business model that reduces barriers to entry for Uganda’s would-be entrepreneurs.
Living Goods saw an opportunity to enter a new market—and fight the spread of malaria—using a twist on the traditional direct selling model. The company offers aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to sell affordable health products door-to-door. Franchisees also sell necessary items such as cookstoves and solar lamps at a profit to supplement the discounted health products.
The benefits of Living Goods’ micro-franchise model include negligible overhead costs and the ability to build directly upon existing relationships between the salesperson and customer. Additionally, Living Goods’ particular customer base resides in remote areas where limited supply produces high demand. After 5 years in business, the company generated a healthy $500,000 in revenue last year.
Living Goods and other social enterprises around the world are leveraging one of the most powerful aspects of direct selling: simplicity. A quality product line, basic training and flexible business hours place the opportunity of entrepreneurship within reach of those who often need it most.
Read more on Living Goods and other micro-franchises here.