Thursday, Sep. 10, 2009

Living Goods

When Charles Slaughter signed up to be an Avon Lady, the Yale business school grad didn't care much about makeup or skin cream. He was looking to poach a business model. Living Goods, the nonprofit he founded in 2006 (after his stint as a direct marketer), gives Ugandan women the chance to be business owners. With microloans of about $50, they buy much needed products like soap and malaria medicine and then sell them for small profits. While charity funds and government aid can be short-term and unpredictable, Living Goods' model offers long-term stability. But the organization's economic impact on Uganda goes beyond empowering new entrepreneurs — it makes the country healthier. Says Slaughter: "It's hard to make a living when you've got malaria."