Amway: Charity Is a Contribution to Sustainable Development
Anna Soshinskaya shared successful practices of company
Anna Soshinskaya participated in the Women and Charity without Borders: International Cooperation session that took place within the framework of the Second Eurasian Women’s Forum. She told about Amways’s charity project aimed at supporting mothers entrepreneurs.
Anna Soshinskaya - President of the Responsible for the Future Foundation, Amway company
Anna mentioned that direct sales are company’s business model and women who want to receive extra income or launch their own business are its main target audience. “We conducted in-depth study on entrepreneurship in 55 countries, which showed that maternity leave is the very period in woman’s life when she makes a serious decision: to go back to previous work, stay home and take care of her family or change the direction of her activity”, explained the speaker. It became the first step to thinking about creation of the project that would help women be more confident in making decisions.
The research showed: lack of knowledge is one of the main reasons why women don’t want to enter the sphere of business.
“Then we understood that our expertise allows understanding how to help young mothers. We began from free education of entrepreneurship basis. It let creating a unique project Mother Entrepreneur”, remembers Anna Soshinskaya.
The project’s programme includes in-person training courses for women enjoying maternity leave or having minor children. After receiving education, the participants present their own business plans to authoritative jury including representatives of the State Corporation for Small and Medium Entrepreneurship and OPORA Russia and successful businesswomen of the region. Author of the best business idea receives grant for its realisation.
Nowadays the Mother Entrepreneur project acts in 60 regions of Russia.
Anna Soshinskaya stressed that it wasn’t easy to achieve such a level in realising the programme. For that, they had to find partners providing many forms of support. It also wasn’t easy to tell about themselves and project. Any charity activity of a commercial company is considered advertisement in the mass media and society. However, all the obstacles have been overcome and eventually the company found two strong partners in realising the programme: The Committee for Development of Women’s Entrepreneurship of OPORA Russia and the Ministry for Economic Development. Later they were joined by Uralsib bank that started implementing educational support in the sphere of financial literacy.
Anna Soshinskaya also suggested speaking about good deeds and charity in the mass media more often even if it is about commercial organisations. According to her, it never must be compared to advertising because it is about contributing to the sustainable development of society.
Anna Repina, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community
Translated by Yan Zarubin