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  • Awarded: 2016
  • Issue Areas: Health · Health Delivery · Livelihoods
  • Countries Served: Kenya · Myanmar · Uganda
  • Web: livinggoods.org
  • About the Organization

    Living Goods supports networks of village health entrepreneurs who go door-to-door teaching families better health practices while selling basic health products including simple treatments for malaria and pneumonia, fortified foods, healthy pregnancy kits, and solar lights.

    Living Goods works in rural areas of Africa and Southeast Asia where doctors and clinics are scarce, and where more than two-thirds of the children who die before their fifth birthday could survive and thrive if their families had information and counseling about pregnancy, newborn care, and nutrition; access to products like bed nets, oral rehydration salts, and water filters; and health professionals to consult about common diseases.

    Living Goods is solving a major obstacle in public health—recruiting and supporting local health workers—through a franchise system that provides quality care and performance incentives for health workers. Smartphone apps automate diagnoses, send treatment reminders, and track key metrics.

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    Millions of children and adults die each year from preventable or treatable diseases for want of simple, inexpensive health products.

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    Living Goods’ sustainable model deploys community health workers who travel door-to-door, providing information and treatment, and selling products that save lives.

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    Chuck Slaughter envisions a global network of community-based businesses providing advice, care, products that improve health and wellbeing.

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    Tested in four countries and poised to grow, Living Goods provides employment for rural women, improves access to life-saving products, and empowers poor consumers.

    Ambition for Change

    Create a sustainable enterprise that not only delivers exceptional public health returns on minimal investment, but also serves as the conduit for innovative products helping poor consumers save money on fuel, improve crop yields, power lights and cell phones, and have clean water.

    Path to Scale

    Franchising through partner networks, partnerships with Government Ministries of Health

    Organizations, agencies, and networks with existing capacity to deliver financial services, products, and technical assistance to rural communities add Living Goods franchises to their service portfolio.

    Business Model

    Sales recover product costs and generate retail margin to pay health workers; wholesale margin covers distribution costs.

    Chuck Slaughter fell in love with faraway lands and peoples while leading bike trips during school breaks. Seeking work that would unite his passions for travel, business, and making the world better off, he tried bike repair and documentary films. In 1987, he read an article about Trickle Up, a microfinance pioneer. Two weeks later, he began working for them. He eventually earned a business degree and traveled widely as a management consultant. His struggle to find travel-worthy clothes inspired TravelSmith—a direct mail catalog company that soon topped $100 million in sales. After a 2001 crisis, Chuck led a turnaround and sold the company, intending to spend time with family and develop new ideas. He invested in and led turnarounds for other businesses, including a system of franchised drug shops in Kenya. Inspiration struck again. He imagined a model based on the Avon cosmetics business, improving access to quality goods and earning opportunities for women. He ordered a kit and tried his hand as an “Avon lady.” What he lacked in lipstick sales he made up in learning. He launched Living Goods in Uganda in 2007, aiming to inspire global NGOs and businesses to build micro-franchises that bring life-changing products directly to families who need them most.

    Impact & Accomplishments

    • Increased the number of health care workers in Uganda by 1,200
    • Independent randomized research shows that communities served by Living Goods reduced child deaths by more than 25 percent
    • Annual cost of service is less than $2 per person reached

    Affiliated

    Lisa McCandlessDirector of Development, Living Goods
    Meagan SuttonProduct Development Manager, Living Goods

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