FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND THEIR ANSWERS
1. About the Zuri Initiative
Where are Zuri’s offices located?
Zuri’s offices are located along Baba Dogo Road in Nairobi.
2. About ZIWEP
What is ZIWEP?
ZIWEP is an acronym for the Zuri Women Empowerment Program. ZIWEP is intended to empower women in low income areas by providing them with free training and an opportunity to earn extra income by becoming Zuri sales agents.
What does the ZIWEP training cover?
The ZIWEP program is designed to equip women with skills in personal development, financial literacy, sales and business skills.
How can one join ZIWEP?
By registering as a Zuri agent with a non-refundable registration fee of KES 200 and thereafter, paying a monthly refundable product security fee of KES 200.
Can men also participate in ZIWEP?
Currently, only women can participate in ZIWEP. However, men can sign up to be Independent Sales Agents.
How many women are currently a part of ZIWEP?
There are currently 33 women, who are a part of ZIWEP. Zuri is still seeking to recruit more women into the program.
How often are the training sessions held?
Training sessions are held once a week, with each session lasting for two hours.
What if one misses a class due to unavoidable circumstances?
We understand that emergencies do come up, and can lead to an agent missing a training. In such a case, one is required to communicate their inability to attend training. If you miss training you are encouraged to ask colleagues about the missed session and ask for any notes they may have taken in order to familiarize yourself with what was taught. Additionally, a recap of the previous training session is always done by the trainers at the start of a new training session.
Where and when are the training sessions held?
ZIWEP training sessions are always held within the training participants’ community. Zuri therefore has different training sites, these are all located close to where the training participants reside. The training participants also get to decide on a convenient time to hold the training.
What other skills does Zuri provide during its training session?
Zuri is also making plans to teach its agents how to personally make shampoo bars which they can sell and earn an income.
Can one receive the training without becoming a sales agent?
Beneficiaries of the training are required to sell Zuri’s hair care products for at least 6 months. If after that time period the agent no longer wishes to continue selling the products, they can opt out.
3. About the Zuri sales agent opportunity
What do the Zuri sales agents sell?
Zuri sales agents are involved in the sale of Zuri hair care products namely: a shampoo, conditioner and hair food.
In what quantities are the products packaged?
The products are available in 30ml, 50ml, 200ml, 1 litre and 5 litres.
What sales agent options are available within Zuri?
At Zuri, there are 2 sales agents options available:
Individual sales agents in a group structure: these are individual women who are required to be in groups, for purposes of co-guaranteeing one another.
Independent sales agents: these are independent women who do not need to be a part of a group structure or go through the entire ZIWEP training. They however do receive a short training on the Zuri products before they can commence selling the products.
Do the women pay before they can obtain the products?
Yes. The independent sales agents purchase the products upfront. Group sales agents on the other hand are required to pay a refundable product security fee of KES200 monthly which then determines the amount of products they can obtain for onward selling.
After paying the product security fee (PSF), does one obtain the entire range of Zuri products for sale?
The quantity of products which an agent can obtain for selling is determined by their credit limit. Their credit limit is the total amount of the PSF they have saved plus an extra 30% of the same which is topped up by Zuri.
If one is unable to consistently pay the monthly PSF, can they still obtain the products for selling?
Yes, they can but they will only receive products worth their saved PSF plus 30% of the same.
What if an agent receives an order for products worth more than their credit limit?
In such a case, the agent has the following options:-
Pool resources amongst her existing group structure to complete the order;
Refer the client to purchase the product directly from Zuri. When they do, the agent who made a referral will receive a commission on the total value of the sales.
Does Zuri help its agents to sell their products?
Zuri sometimes refers its clients to their sales agents. Zuri hair care products are also being introduced to salons, after which Zuri agents will be connected to the salons to handle the distribution.
How can the agents get the product?
Zuri will deliver the products to the agents. Alternatively, the agents can collect the products from Zuri’s offices.
How much commission is earned from selling the products?
Commission is 20% of total sales.
When is the commission paid?
The commission is paid once it has accumulated to a certain amount.
Is there a time period within which an agent should sell her products?
Though Zuri does not impose strict time periods for selling on their agents, they are encouraged to sell as much as they can within three months of receiving the training to enable them to benefit from the learning experience as well as earn a fair commission.
How does one describe the benefits of Zuri’s hair products to potential buyers?
Training on the Zuri product ingredients and their benefits will be provided. Those who register as agents will also receive product samples to try out. This will better position them to market Zuri’s hair products.
What happens when a sales agent is not able to sell her product?
In such a case, Zuri would seek to understand the reason why the products are not being sold and remedy it. If that cannot be done and the products are still in good condition, Zuri will request for them to be returned back to them.
Where do the proceeds of the product sales go?
Some of the sales proceeds are earned by the women as their commission, while the rest is reinvested into Zuri to cover the cost or manufacturing the products as well as sustaining its operations.
Are there recommended retail prices for the products?
Yes, there are 2 sets of recommended retail prices: one set of prices for the Zuri sales agents, and another set of prices for retail stores.
What is the average cost of a Zuri product?
The recommended agents’ prices of Zuri hair care products range between KES 90-170 depending on the kind of product and quantity. The products are fairly priced as they are made using high quality natural and nature derived ingredients, compared to most products available in the market. We cannot compete with the low cost products which are made from artificial ingredients.
How have the current Zuri agents done so far in terms of sale?
They have done very well, considering the fact that the products are still new in the market. Zuri’s best performing agent was able to sell products worth KES 14,500 in the first three months. The amount of income women are able to earn from sales will depend on various factors including but not limited to the product quantities sold, the location, the effort put in to market oneself and customer reach.
What future do Zuri agents have with Zuri beyond selling Zuri hair care products?
The future is bright for a Zuri agent and will really depend on the interests of the individual. Some of the options available are:-
Zuri agents are encouraged to pass on the knowledge they have learnt to other agents, they do this by becoming BDOs (Business development officers) whereby they will become trainers and be involved in Zuri field work;
They can go on to become large scale distributors of the products;
Use the knowledge and skills gained through ZIWEP to start a business;
Be involved in SoCCs activities and continue to empower the community.
4. About The Zuri Social Capital Credits (SoCCs) Initiative
What is SoCCs?
The Social Capital Credits (SoCCs) Initiative is a program being executed by the Zuri Initiative in partnership with Asia Initiatives, an NGO based in New York. Under this initiative, each time an agent engages in acts of social good within their community they earn points, otherwise known as social capital credits.
Can anyone participate in SoCCs activities?
Yes, anyone can engage in the SoCCs activities, however in order to earn and redeem points from the same, one would have to be registered as a Zuri agent.
How does Zuri keep a log of SoCCs activities and points?
Zuri agents are given forms in which they manually record activities done, the amount of time taken, and the number of points earned from the activity. This information is then confirmed by a SoCCs manager.
How does the redemption of SoCCs happen?
The Zuri agents get to decide the kind of SoCCs activities (acts of social good) they would like to engage in, and how many points each activity would earn them. This makes up their earning menu. The women also come up with a list of items they would like to receive and how many points would be required to be exchanged for each item. This makes up their redeeming menu. The total number of points earned by individual agents are tallied and then the agent gets to pick something from the redeeming menu that equals the points they have earned.