Helping young Egyptians to secure a better future while increasing our reach
In a nutshell
The Egyptian Safeir programme (‘Safeir’ means ambassador in Arabic) is helping an increasing number of the young Egyptian population to become micro-entrepreneurs by equipping them with essential business skills such as basic selling, communication and financial know how (understanding return on investment). Having these skills and our Unilever sales knowledge allows these budding micro entrepreneurs to sell our products in high cost urban and rural areas – meeting a real need as these areas are not easy for our own salesforce to reach. Rural areas in Egypt account for 60% of the country and have the highest poverty rates, as well as the highest unemployment rates.
What’s the issue?
The Safeir programme is all about recruiting and training ambassadors to sell our Unilever products while at the same time offering them a decent income and a better livelihood. The programme is built on a ROI model through which a Safeir learns how to invest his or her capital, how to maximise their return and how to re-generate an income. They can then start their own projects and become real entrepreneurs – as grocery shop owners or distributors of other products, for example.
What are the outcomes and impact?
The programme started in 2013 with 150 Safeirs and had reached 700 Safeirs by 2016. The Safeirs’ monthly income rose 80 percent from when it started in 2013 to 2016. At the same time, the Safeir programme has ensured Unilever products are available in approximately 45,000 outlets in rural areas of Egypt.
What are the future plans?
We are extending the programme to recruit 2000 Safeirs by 2020, thereby allowing Unilever to reach the top 1000 most dense villages across Egypt. Collaboration is key to the success. We plan to collaborate with government bodies such as the Ministry of Social Affairs and several NGOs to help us identify candidates for the programme. We will also partner with non-competing companies to expand the Safeir portfolio.
“With the Safeir Programme, we are not only offering job opportunities – we are also developing young entrepreneurs who can stand strong and ambitious, securing a better future for themselves, their family and their community.” – Yehia Saad, CD Director Egypt & Sudan – Unilever Mashreq
To learn more, please contact:
Mennat Allah Sharkas, Mennat-Allah.Sharkas@unilever.com