WHAT WE DO
We hire for attitude, train for skills, and give our sales agents the opportunity to do well and do good. The iSmart office is a central location for our recruitment, training and retail operations.
HIRING FOR ATTITUDE
We identify youths with the attitude and mindset to succeed, and train them with the skills they need to be successful. Our recruitment strategy relies on word-of-mouth marketing and referrals from our current sales agents. We also have over 100 local partners who help us to identify the brightest and most disadvantaged youths. We invite potential candidates to a 30-minute interview. Successful candidates are invited back for a full-day vetting process that includes individual and group exercises in natural sales ability, teamwork, and initiative.
TRAINING FOR SKILLS
We set up our sales agent recruits for success. Borrowing from the best practices of sales organizations in low-income communities, our training program blends field experience with classroom learning. Training is an intensive two-week course that begins with the “urban slum youth movement and social entrepreneurship” before moving onto professional development, protocols, customer service, sales, financial literacy and savings education. Field learning includes pairing trainees with seasoned sales agents to share strategies and create a culture of positive interaction among all youths.
JOBS OF THE FUTURE: DOING WELL AND DOING GOOD
Successful graduates of our training programs are offered employment. The opportunity to work as a sales agent enables a youth to create personal wealth and do good as they distribute life-changing products that impact the social and economic development of their communities.
Sales agents receive products on consignment and earn commission for each product sold. Micro-consignment borrows heavily from traditional microfinance. Instead of borrowing money to buy product, however, our youth choose which products they want to sell and only repay the cost of the product after successful sales – a low-risk alternative to micro-loans.
Sales agents also help to identify new products, conduct market testing, contribute to the operations of our retail shop, and develop innovative marketing strategies. Sales agents also market in schools, churches and other community organizations, giving presentations on energy conservation, pollution and female health. Our sales agents are also offered ongoing and refresher trainings to stimulate growth and learning. These trainings vary in topic ranging from ethical decision-making to closing deals.