Programs & Projects

Danone Ecosystem Fund: Semilla Impact Assessment

January 2013 - December 2015


The impact assessment study for Semilla, funded by the Danone Ecosystem Fund, assessed changes on salespersons employed by the enterprise. Semilla recruits individuals, mostly women, from the communities they operate in, who are affected by poverty and have difficulty finding formal employment. Semilla uses a door-to-door sales model and provides employees with benefits such as health insurance and housing credit, and trainings on topics such as sales and marketing, and life skills such as how to manage their personal finances, nutrition, and improve family dynamics.

Our assessment focused on addressing Semilla’s challenges to reduce turnover, improve sales and enhance impact by assessing a mix of business indicators and social indicators such as self-esteem, self-efficacy and relationships with others. To conduct the assessment, we prioritized indicators of well-being via conversations with management, a literature review, interviews with experts and in-depth qualitative interviews with 49 key stakeholders. We developed a robust research design and a quantitative survey that was pretested, piloted and implemented with over 800 individuals. The treatment group consisted of new hires and the comparison group, of persons similar in profile to these new hires. The study also included 10 in-depth qualitative interviews with salespeople who had been with Semilla for more than a year.

The report can be downloaded here.

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