Avon calls itself “the company for women,” and a recent NBC feature provides one example of how Avon offers women more than just a pretty face. Dr. Nancy Snyderman, NBC Chief Medical Editor, spoke to Avon business owners in some of the poorest townships in South Africa, where entrepreneurism has empowered women to break the cycle of poverty—and share the same opportunity with others.
For Alice and her associate Anna, two women in Diepsloot, life has changed dramatically since they first began selling Avon. Alice previously cleaned houses, but has now recruited hundreds of other Avon women and developed her business to 10 times her former earnings. Anna’s business provided the means to extricate herself from a violently abusive marriage.
The impact of Avon’s business opportunity extends beyond these women to the next generation. Alice has achieved her hope of enrolling her children in a private school. Anna’s daughter has opened a beauty shop using the money she earned through her Avon business.
Businesses like Avon supply these women not only with products, but also with business skills such as computer literacy and goal-setting. With that empowerment comes the possibility of self-sufficiency in a society where few women have the means to rise above poverty and attain independence. As Alice says, “It puts food on your table and mascara on your face.”