The Village Traders Project – Poverty Reduction in Practice
In addition to distributing essential household items for non-profit organizations, IY has the objective to enable people at the BoP to generate sustainable income to allow for healthy living conditions. As part of this objective IY will enhance existing traditional retail methods (i.e. Village Traders) to more efficiently serve customers at the BoP.
Village Traders - How it works
Modelled on the Grameen Marketing Network (GMN) IY will apply the principles of Social Business to advance the socio-economic conditions of the rural poor in Myanmar.
Village or micro traders have a long standing tradition in Myanmar of selling aluminium pots and other household utensils door to door travelling by foot among villages, a market that is largely untapped by modern retailers due to is logistics inaccessibility. The very poorly connected road infrastructure in Myanmar as well as the road conditions compound with seasonal monsoon that makes it difficult to reach remote customers.
IY will provide income opportunities to underprivileged individuals who can improve their livelihoods by being a franchisee of IY products and selling directly to consumers. By doing so IY reduces logistics costs providing income opportunities to those members of the community that choose to work with the company.
According to a 2013 report from the University of Tokyo “Myanmar is a developing country with considerable humanitarian needs, rendering its pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) an especially high priority. Yet progress to date remains under-examined on key fronts. Particularly within the three health-related MDGs (MDGs 4, 5, and 6),” aeruginosa, shigella and salmonella. Lifewell has been designed for use in developing countries and disaster areas, where access to clean drinking water is particularly important.
|MDG||IY’s Core Business||IY’s Social Investment|
Contribution to poverty reduction through income creation and growth encompassingsuppliers of products, distributors, sellers and consumer.
Innovative distribution systems reaching out to more consumers which also will provide new sources of income for those we partner with.
Develop enabling technologies that can be afforded by consumers with small amounts of disposable income.Contribution to tackling hunger through improving the sanitary and health conditions of people at the BoP.
Improve village trader’s livelihoods by creating new low risk and profitable opportunities to sell a range of affordable products door-to-door in rural areas. As village traders become part of the company distribution and sales network they will receive training from IY and the opportunity to express their full potentials as micro entrepreneurs.
While selling to consumers, the village traders could also take the task of convening health messages (e.g. washing hands after defecation), improving the impact of IY’s sanitation products as well as the village trader social stand in the communities they sell to.
Convening health messages is important because: ”poor hygiene practices …play major roles in the increased burden of communicable diseases” in developing countries in general and in Myanmar in particular.
IY will contribute to this MDG through improving the hygiene of households with its affordable sanitation solution and water purification products reaching those more affected by under-five child mortality due to preventable causes such as diarrhoea.
In addition to the “hardware” provided by the village traders (e.g. peepoo, water purification tablets etc.) IY will train the village traders so they can convey health and hygiene educational to families at the BoP.
Village Traders have little to no formal education and do very often lack basic skills hence IY in partnership with the NGO Building Markets will provide basic training in micro finance and accounting based on the principles of the Grameen model of microfinance (e.g. self-help groups that will enable village traders to reduce significantly the financial cost they afford today) as well as training on good hygiene practices. The village traders will also be provided with information and communication materials, in easy to understand posters with pictures.
|IY will contribute to this MDG through improving the hygiene of households with its affordable sanitation solution and water purification products reaching those more affected by preventable causes of poor maternal health such as water borne diseases product of poor sanitation and water quality.||The village traders will also be provided with information and communication materials in easy to understand posters with pictures. Leaflets will be provided from UNICEF who is the focal UN agency working in maternal nutrition health and distributed to clients of the village traders. The village traders will receive adequate training from this activity.|
IY will contribute to this MDG with affordable yet efficient long lasting impregnated mosquito nets being sold by its Village traders.
Children and adults are at risk of contracting Malaria in poor communities because of limited access to Mosquito Nets and lack of awareness about disease prevention.
The village traders will also be provided with information and communication materials in easy to understand posters with pictures. Leaflets will be supplied by The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria.
IY chooses to contribute to the achievement of the MGD in Myanmar and to that effect we have set ourselves the following targets:
IY Target 1: By the end of 2015 to coordinate over 250 village traders organized in 50 groups (average 5 village traders per group) who will be selling IY products to over 300,000 households per year .
IY Target 2: By the end of 2015, to supply over 15,000 households (around 5 % of the households reached with the village Traders project) will access to:
a) Safe drinking water from the purchase of Aquatabs® Water Purification Tablets.
b) Some of the sanitation solutions offered by IY (e.g. Peepoo® or portable toilets).
c) Malaria preventive measures in the form of Long Lasting WHO approved Mosquito Nets.
4.1 IY - Community Synergies
Value Proposition forIY: As a social business IY has is concerned with communities at the BoP living long and prospering.
As the Myanmar economy develops IY expect that its main customers now – e.g. NGOs and UN agencies buying IY items to be provided as free aid- to shift to low-income customers who will pay for them.Further, empowering those willing individuals at the BoP tobecome micro entrepreneurs to sellIY products will substantially increase our sales volume and revenue.
Value Proposition for the Community: Members of target communities, such as the village traders,will engage in business activities or enter in a business relations with IY increasing their income.
More importantly, IYwill enable thecooperating communities to take full advantage of the opportunities that arise when working with IY. Selling affordable and sustainable IY products in and through rural communitieswill provide awide-ranging and pioneeringlogistics and retail model . IY will assist vulnerable communities and community memberswith training for them to realize theirpotentials and financial capital to become entrepreneurs and sellers of IY products in rural Myanmar. The generated income will improve their livelihoods and the health of their families and the communities that buy IY products.