Creating livelihoods is about more than just providing access to a stable income. There are several different forms of capital (human, social, financial) that compose a livelihood.

Our model allows youth and women to build their financial capital by earning a stable income, build human capital by learning new sales skills, and to increase their social capital as they communicate and create relationships with members of their community. A majority will go on to productive jobs, further studies, or to create their own businesses when they leave LivelyHoods. Our aim is to prepare them for a lifetime of gainful and productive activities, that sustain themselves and their families, and give hope for a continuous, bright future.

We create job opportunities for youth and women
in their own communities, transforming marginalised
populations into clean energy distributors.





In Kenyan slums, up to 70% of youth are jobless, with women facing additional barriers in earning an income.

Kenya is facing an unemployment crisis that is exacerbated by stark gender and age-related inequalities. In Nairobi alone there are approximately 2.5 million slum-dwellers, the equivalent of 60% of the city’s population, living in an area covering only 6% of the city’s land. In Kenyan urban slums, 1.3 million young people (ages 18-32) are unemployed.



Most unemployed young people in slums have not completed school or vocational training, and lack formal work experience.

Kenya is an extremely young country, with 80% of the country aged under 35. The number of unemployed youth in Kenya is rising each year and, though the economy is growing, opportunities for under-qualified and under-educated youth from the country’s slums are few and far between. This leads to large populations of inactive youth, unable to escape a cycle of poverty and dependence, and instead falling into petty crime, or being coerced into violence and social unrest.



Societal norms about a woman's role in child-rearing and domestic work in Kenya can be huge obstacles standing in between a woman and her professional and personal development.

In Kenya, a woman is 45% more likely to be unemployed than a man (World Bank statistic). Women are also less likely to have finished school, (S.P Wamahiu) with secondary school enrollment rates 6% lower for women compared to men, nationally (UNESCO). In some slums in Kenya, the majority of households are single mother households, with a woman carrying the burden of providing for the family and looking after the children. In other cases, women are in abusive or unhealthy relationships, where a partner tries to prevent her from working, and earning an independent income.



Millions of families in Kenya burn biomass using cookstoves that emit toxic fumes that kill more children than malaria.

Traditional cookstoves have severe health impacts, with household air pollution contributing to 3.8 million premature deaths worldwide per year according to the World Health Organisation, with 13,000 in Kenya. People in slums lack access to innovative products, which have been created to address such challenges, because traditional retail channels cannot reach them, and small-scale entrepreneurs lack the capital to buy and sell these products.



Kenya’s forests have been depleted by 83% in the last 50 years, primarily for fuel, and burning biomass for cooking accounts for around 20% of all black carbon emissions. 

In Kenya’s slums, the majority of residents use wood or charcoal stoves to cook their meals. The use of wood and charcoal for fuel is depleting Kenya’s forests, harming essential watersheds and destroying habitats for Kenya’s extraordinary wildlife populations. In addition, the carbon dioxide and black carbon emissions from burning biomass also contribute to climate change and cause additional health and respiratory problems.  



Fuel and energy costs account for upwards of 21% of household income in Nairobi’s slums.

This situation leaves little room for economic growth and investment, and can hamper livelihoods development at the household level. Fuel is often bought on a daily basis, in small quantities, and traditional stoves are often cheap and inefficient, meaning upfront costs for cleaner energy alternatives seem prohibitive to uneducated consumers.



We use a hub-and-spoke distribution model, with branches in slum communities that serve as training centers and inventory stock points for our sales agents.

At the same time, we use a micro-consignment and door-to-door distribution model to provide women and young people with a low-risk way to earn an income and to create meaningful change in their community.



Our solution combines:


Community outreach to market our opportunity to the most disadvantaged youth and women.


In sales, communications, personal development, work-readiness, and confidence building.


Safe, sustainable employment as a LivelyHoods sales agent.


To life-changing products through our door to door distribution network working directly in informal settlements.



The youth and women that we train and employ gain business skills and awareness of environmental and social issues beyond what they have learned in school or in informal income generation activities.

Youth and women are best placed to become agents of change because they have extensive social networks and a deep understanding of the dynamics and problems in their community.






young men and
women trained


percent of workforce
that is female


lives improved through training, job creation and product distribution



average income of
sales agent


potential income for
a sales agent


staff promoted from sales
agent to management





fuel costs


“My children used to complain about the smoke from the jiko (cookstove), but now they don’t even realise I’m cooking, and then I tell them that dinner’s ready and they come running!” Mary, customer from Nairobi





drop in poverty likelihood of trainees one year after training


solar products


“I gained the confidence and the communications skills to convince customers and to market products to the public. I'm now earning the money I need to take care of myself. I have my independence.” Maureen, former sales agent from Nairobi



trees saved
by tons of CO2 emissions prevented + tons of charcoal saved



of former sales agents go on to start their own business

Last impact data Update: 23rd April 2019






It is important to share joy each and every day as a community.
We believe that there is always an opportunity to learn from your challenges. We appreciate the positive in each situation,
but also recognize that each new day gives us the chance to improve.



We know that change is achieved through hard work
and persistence. We don’t make excuses or wait for someone
else to tell us what to do. We take responsibility for ourselves,
ownership of our actions, and are accountable for the results.



We stand firm in our moral ground through acting and speaking
with honesty. We believe it is important to respect, care for,
and know yourself before you can be of service to others.
We develop our own personal resources, but know
when to ask for help.


LivelyHoods is open to all people, regardless of age, gender,
tribe, religion, or background. We are open to new ideas
and different approaches to reach our goals.
We communicate openly and proactively with our colleagues
and customers. We care deeply about our communities
and value each individual’s contribution.