Avon in Africa

An African Avon Lady in Her Beauty Salon

An African Avon Lady in Her Beauty Salon

My colleague, Catherine Dolan, and I have completed a three year study of the Avon system in South Africa.  Our intention was to determine whether poor black women could lift themselves out of poverty by becoming Avon representatives.  The research was funded jointly by the Economics and Social Science Research Council and the Department for International Development, both in the United Kingdom.  Several articles have been written for publication, as has a teaching case with notes. Press coverage has been good and some can be viewed on this site:  Avon in Africa media.

Avon articles:

Scott, Linda, Catherine Dolan, Mary Johnstone-Louis, Kimberly Sugden, and Maryalice Wu (2012), “Enterprise and Inequality:  A Study of Avon in South Africa,”  Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, May, 543-568. 

Catherine Dolan, Mary Johnstone-Louis, and Linda Scott (2009), “Lipstick Evangelism: Avon trading circles and gender empowerment in South Africa” — Gender and Development, July 1st.

Avon Calling South Africa” — Business at Oxford, 2008

Avon Case Study and Teaching Notes:

Avon in Africa Case Study

Avon in Africa Teaching Note