Empowering women to build nutrition rich communities

We increase availability and awareness of affordable nutritious foods for low-income communities via micro franchising and retail channels.

Photo of Taurai Nyakunu
3 4

Written by

I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

Sizanani Mzanzi

Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Growth (the pilot has already launched and is starting to expand)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $100k - $250k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 50,000 - 100,000

Organization type

  • Nonprofit, NGO, or citizen sector

Secondary Focus Area

  • Rural development

Headquarters location: Country

  • South Africa

Headquarters location: City


Location(s) of impact

South Africa: Johannesburg, Pretoria, Polokwane, Mahikeng



Facebook URL


Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

Nearly 1in 4 children in South Africa are stunted while 1 in 2 children suffer from Vitamin A deficiency. Poor nutrition hinders growth and stops children from reaching their full potential; they are prone to poor health, sub-optimal development and reduced earning potential. Low income communities are often excluded from the goods and services they need to lead healthy and productive lives. Designed to be a sustainable and scalable intervention, Sizanani Mzanzi has the potential to effectively address malnutrition.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

Our model brings quality, affordable, nutritious foods to the last mile/ doorstep efficiently and creates income generating opportunities for women. Entrepreneurs are empowered with business skills and nutrition knowledge through our innovative and easy-to-learn game, “Sizaland”. Below the line marketing support from Sizanani helps them succeed, increasing their earning ability while communities benefit from availability and access to nutrition products. Shared value on five aspects: - Improves access to and availability of quality, affordable nutritious foods in low-income contexts - Co-creates income generating opportunities and builds capacity in areas that need it the most - Improves equality by empowering women in areas with high unemployment levels - Increases awareness of the importance of good nutrition as trained franchisees deliver messages to the community - Ensure economic sustainability by reinvesting surplus from sales to benefit the community.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

45 micro-franchisees: Improved Income and better nutrition, 71,000 consumers: Improved health, nutrition and productivity. Economic Impact: Sizanani Mzanzi helps micro-franchisees earn stable incomes and on the job self-esteem in the face of high unemployment rates and difficult economic conditions. So far, 45 micro-franchisees have been recruited and empowered with business and nutrition skills to sell Sizanani products within their communities. Health & Well-being: Consistent availability of nutritious alternatives (porridges and beverages) and key nutrition messages have helped 71,000 consumers make healthy choices. Our constant effort not to compromise on taste has paid off as surveys show that consumers at tasting events like the product despite the ‘health’ tag. This has been a key factor in reducing barriers that prohibit uptake to ensure that more families include our nutrient dense products in their groceries.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

Currently, Sizanani is funded 100% through grants totaling 100,000 euros annually. However, the intervention is built as a social enterprise aimed at being financially sustainable. We will also expand the coverage by increasing the number of micro-franchisees and adding a retail channel. Using a retail channel in densely populated areas will help us increase sales volumes to become financially viable while also ensuring brand visibility and availability of our products to a range of middle to low income consumers. Such a scale, will provide the necessary capital to expand the micro-franchising network especially in high unemployment areas and rural areas.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

Sizanani solves the problems of not having enough healthy and convenient food choices, high unemployment rates and high distribution costs to the last mile. By shortening the supply chain (bypassing middle men) we closely collaborate with suppliers to pass margins to micro-franchisees while keeping costs low. Our model focuses exclusively on nutrition, which makes it easier for franchisees to implement and create awareness of the benefits of nutrition. Over time product portfolio can expand.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

For many years, Sight and Life Foundation, a Swiss based nutrition think-tank has been funding humanitarian projects to alleviate malnutrition among school going children in South Africa. Though the positive impact of increased school attendance and reduced sickness was noted, the long-term sustainability of a donation model was clearly not viable. At that time, given the high unemployment rates in South Africa and the need for inter-personal communication to deliver complex nutrition messages, an internship was created to test micro-franchising as a self-sustaining business model. In 14 weeks, with zero marketing spend, more than 3600 units of nutritious porridge & beverage powder were sold by 15 women microfranchisees who were working part-time. Delighted with positive response to the model, Sight and Life foundation & DSM South Africa invested in the creation of a non-profit.

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Upon recommendation from others


Join the conversation:

Photo of Joseph Brenyah

The project looks promising. Work on the financial plan well to ensure success.

View all comments