Live Well is a new social enterprise in Zambia that trains entrepreneurs to travel to rural communities and provide healthcare advice as well as sell health products. The products, which range from medicines to solar lamps and phone chargers, are items which communities in rural Zambia would have difficulty getting a hold of otherwise.
So the program helps deliver necessities to those in need, whilst also creating jobs for the entrepreneurs who travel and sell the products.
The program is a partnership between CARE, GSK, Barclays, Living Goods, and the Zambian Ministry of Health and so it’s an intersection between health, business and job creation. It’s structured around a business model which aims to cover operating costs through sales revenue. And, according to those involved: it saves lives.
“Live Well is a business; at the same time we are looking at the social impact in the communities,” says Rose Shikonka, the regional manager for Live Well in Zambia’s Eastern Province. “So whatever products we sell, we need to look at what impact it is going to bring to the community.”
The entrepreneurs who take up the jobs are trained in basic healthcare and the use of health products, as well as in business, finance and enterprise development skills.
It means earning a little money by selling their products while also being able to give back to their community with important health advice.
Before becoming an entrepreneur, Lucia could only afford one meal per day. The training has changed her family’s life: “I initially could only afford one meal per day. I was excited because I knew the business would give me a profit, which has enabled me to now have three meals per day, send my children to school and now I’m planning to build a house.”