Jobs for Youth in Urban Slums

Sep 17, 2012

LivelyHoods Stays Lively

Everlyn, iSmart Office Manager, and her daughter
Everlyn, iSmart Office Manager, and her daughter

Over the past two months, we’ve promoted 3 sales agents to help us manage our growth. Prior to working with iSmart, one was stealing, one was a single mother with little means to support her child and the other found it difficult to find a steady job. Everlyn Ochieng has been promoted to Office Assistant, managing inventory and the checking in and out of products to our sales agents. Joseph Osoth has been promoted to Store Manager, responsible for managing our first iSmart retail store. Alex Beru Govinda has been promoted to a Sales Leader, managing morning meetings and assisting with the recruitment of potential sales agents. Without being asked, they come to work early, stay late and work on weekends. It’s inspiring. Recently Alex was asked what he likes about iSmart by a visitor. He replied, “I like thinking about how iSmart is going to grow.”

Key Indicators

Our 2012 sales from January through July are approximately $22,000 USD. In July, we generated $6500.00 in revenue, from the sale of 326 products. And most important, our sales agents made a net income of $111.00 USD on average. Additionally, 18 more sales agents joined our sales force.

Operations Updates 

  • New Products. We are market-testing BBOX products.
  • Protocols. We are working with our external accountants to assist us with implementing key operational protocols related to cash, sales, inventory, management, and human resources. We view strong operational protocols as key to effective scale.
  • Cashless Operations. We completed our M-PESA corporate training, which means we are on our way to becoming a cashless social enterprise. M-PESA is a mobile money service, allowing our customers to transfer money directly to us using their mobile phone. We aim to be 100% cashless in the first quarter of 2013.
  • Supplier MOUS. We signed memorandums of understanding with all of our suppliers, outlining terms related to delivery, marketing support, credit, product guarantees and availability of supply. This is important as we build strong partnerships to ensure that our sales agents always have quality products to sell.
  • New Intern. Jeevika Makani is an Economist from Australia. She left her job waiting at home to join us for two months. With her background in market research for companies like Vodafone, she is assisting us to conduct research on our customers and our impact as well as calculate forecasts for our social return on investment (SROI).
  • Staff Evaluations. We have implemented an evaluation system for all employees at LivelyHoods and iSmart, including sales agents, managers and co-founders. 

Funding & Achievements 

  • Data. We acquired a Q license, data analysis software, valued at $4750.00 USD. With this data, we are able to effectively analyze the baseline and endline surveys for our sales agents. For instance, we're already seeing that on average, single mothers are our best performers.
  • Lively Films. Sam Nuttmann of Session 7 Media just wrapped two weeks of filming iSmart operations. At the beginning of October, we’ll release a promotional film and a longer documentary about our impact. 
iSmart Recruits a New Class!
iSmart Recruits a New Class!
We now offer 4 fuel-efficient cookstoves!
We now offer 4 fuel-efficient cookstoves!
The iSmart Team is Smart & Enthusiastic!
The iSmart Team is Smart & Enthusiastic!
A Day in the Life of an iSmart Agent.
A Day in the Life of an iSmart Agent.

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Venice, California, United States

Project Leader

Maria Springer

Executive Director
Venice, California United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Jobs for Youth in Urban Slums