LivelyHoods is a not-for-profit social enterprise that creates jobs for youth and women in Kenyan slums through the distribution of life-changing products.

After interviewing 278 youth about how they survive, we learned they all had sales experience with everything from mangoes to drugs. LivelyHoods employs youth at what they are good at – sales. Our sales network leverages young people’s ambition and knowledge of their community, and requires minimal education. We prepare youth for a life of financial independence and personal success.

Although LivelyHoods is a nonprofit company, we operate with the mindset of an entrepreneurial start-up and our business model is driven by market-based principles to ensure the sustainability of the program. LivelyHoods’ business model is built on two key assumptions 1) Slum communities have purchasing potential, but lack access to quality products that could improve their lives; 2) Many unemployed and disadvantaged youth and women have the self-motivation and ability to learn skills necessary for sales that can alter the course of their lives.

LivelyHoods’ network of door-to-door sales agents operates under the brand iSmart. Our model has a strong retail brand emphasizing customer service and integrity, professionalizes the natural sales talent in slums, and will be sustainable with scale in the next five years.