Amway Korea: A University Case Study on Shared Value

Jan 29, 2015

A conversation between the head of Amway Korea marketing and a professor at the University of Calgary has turned into a full-fledged case study on how business creates shared value when CSR is built into corporate strategy.

The case study explores the journey of US-based Amway entering the South Korean market – adapting to local culture, business climate and economic pressures. It quotes SJ Park, Amway Korea President, as saying “We started off as an ugly duckling but grew to become a swan.”

AmwayKoreaCaseStudyWon-Yong Oh, an assistant professor at the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary in Canada, supervised the writing of the 13-page case study by Seoyeon Park. You can find it at Ivey Publishing, the world’s second-largest business case publisher after Harvard Business School.

In addition to documenting the development of the Amway business in Korea and worldwide, it follows several stages in the journey of the company to support Korean communities and develop models of Shared Value, and build integrated partnerships.

The first is a project called One for One, which was designed to help small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) following the financial crisis in 1998. In One for One, the company sourced local products in addition to its global brands, and sold them through our distribution channels. This later evolved into the One for One Good Will Store, supporting social enterprises like small, green-product designers who typically had trouble accessing channels for selling and the know-how for promoting their products. Amway Korea donates proceeds from these products to local causes related to health and wellness for children.

Another example followed the launch of the global Amway One by One Campaign for Children in 2003 with the Nutrilite Health Watcher Program, an exploration of shared value that utilizes the company’s core strengths in nutrition. In a partnership with social welfare centers that sheltered nearly 9,000 children countrywide, the program focused on healthy eating habits and exercise, based on a health assessment developed with the Korean Nutrition Society called the Nutrition Quotient, the first nutrition index for children in Korea. Since 2007, 81,000 children from 67 elementary schools have participated in the Nutrilite Health Watcher Program.

The paper also explores the global Technology Development Project, a partnership with the Korean Health Industry Development Institute, the Foundation of Agricultural Technology Commercialization and Transfer, and the Korea Biotechnology Industry Organization. In 2010, more than 200 SMEs applied to this program with ideas to utilize Amway Korea’s R&D capabilities and support open innovation.

While few Amway country affiliates are documented in this way, each could be a case study in itself – a new journey of building a business and building community. Amway has never left a market it has entered, and we continue to invest in improving the lives of those we live and work with, and that’s adding value for all.

Thanks to Mee-Hye Lee and Yong-Bom Lee for sharing this story. You can read the abstract and purchase the full case study at Ivey Publishing.

The Power of Unity

Jan 26, 2015

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The Third Special Olympics Shanghai Sunshine Inter-City Invitational Unified Race took place in Shanghai in late November. The main event was a special type of 30-meter three-legged race with teams of 12 people – half volunteers and half Special Olympics athletes.

Starting earlier that month, six Amway volunteers and youth Special Olympics athletes from the Jiuquan Special School set up a “fusion team” in preparation for the upcoming competition. The competition included a three-legged race as well as races that required participants to run shoulder-to-shoulder and hand-in-hand. Collaboration like this was new to both the volunteers and kids.

In the beginning, the children fell down dozens of times. The volunteers taught them how to correctly use the gear to prevent injury, and how to run and compete. When the kids fell, they took good care of them.

After nearly one month of intensive training that included four hours of tough exercises each day, the Amway volunteers won athletes’ trust through their love and perseverance. Some even took to calling them “dad” and “mom.”

One girl, Siyuan, was the smallest one on the team. She fell so many times that she started to worry she might hinder the performance of the team. During the final exercise after they arrived in Shanghai, she fell especially hard. She cried and said she would not participate in the competition. She wanted to go back home.

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A volunteer named Xu Chuang comforted Siyuan, sharing personal experiences and troubles participating in competitions. After that, the two bound their legs together and practiced again and again. Gradually, Siyuan was able to overcome her fear of falling. With Xu Chuang cheering her on, she got her confidence back and returned to the team.

Amid cheers from Amway volunteers and cheerleaders, the Amway/Jiuquan Nash-Yao Endowment Special School team won first place, with a time of 7:59, thanks to optimal cooperation and team spirit.

Thanks to Rowley Luo and Penny Yi for sharing this story.

Erin Metters: Making a Difference

Jan 23, 2015

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Amway Independent Business Owners tend to have big hearts.

Erin Metters has been sharing hers for nearly 30 years with an organization that since 1929 has been reaching out to everyone from newborns to veterans.

Erin is a member of her local Epsilon Sigma Alpha (ESA) chapter in Overland Park, Kansas, a leadership and service organization boasting some 10,000 members in nearly 800 local and collegiate chapters.

For Erin, ESA serves as a conduit that allows her to lean on her business skills in widespread efforts to help others.

The recipients of her generosity include Easter Seals disability services, Hope for Heroes military support, Warm Welcome baby blanket donations, and many more. That’s why she was recently recognized by Amway as a National Volunteer Week Winner.

Erin appreciates the similarities between belonging to ESA and enjoying the benefits of being an IBO: “The nice thing about Amway IBOs is that they’re such positive people, and you leave them feeling so good,” she says. “That’s how members of ESA are, too. Spending time with these people doing good work is such a happy, uplifting experience.”

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Erin meets with other ESA members twice monthly – once to gather socially, and once to explore service projects. The group exchanges stories, discusses upcoming projects, and identifies new opportunities to pursue.

She says that one of the most fulfilling enterprises in which her group is involved focuses on helping St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Nationally, ESA has raised more than $160 million to support the Tennessee-based medical facility.

Erin’s local chapter annually raises upwards of $30,000 for St. Jude’s, by selling raffle tickets for a chance to win a dream home.

The Overland Park ESA also creates hats for the homeless and makes cooling neck wraps for U.S soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“It breaks your heart to see how many people are hurting,” says Erin, “but each person doing a little makes a big impact when you multiply it by hundreds.

Thanks to Marsha Champion for sharing this story. See the full article at Amway.net or in Achieve Magazine.

Children’s Village Inaugurated on 5-Year Anniversary of Haiti Quake

Jan 21, 2015

Five years after a devastating earthquake killed 200,000 people, displaced more than a million others, and left many children orphaned and abandoned, a celebration took place.

On January 10, 2015, SOS Children’s Villages cut the ribbon on a new Children’s Village and School with the help of Amway and other worldwide supporters.

Amway Business Owners and employees joined the company’s efforts to raise funds to support the new Village in Les Cayes, in the south of Haiti. This was part of long-term commitment efforts that were added to more than $1 million in immediate relief efforts.

“Efforts to rebuild the most affected areas move at a slow place, and the need to support vulnerable children and families remains high. Many of the children and families who survived the earthquake lost everything and experienced severe emotional trauma,” said Lynn Croneberger, CEO of SOS Children’s Villages – USA. “In 2010, we made a strong commitment to support these survivors. Thanks to generous donors and the Government of Haiti, we are able to continue to provide support to Haiti’s most vulnerable.”

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SOS Children’s Villages Haiti Board President Me. Jean-Baptiste Brown recalled that at the height of the crisis following the earthquake, SOS Children’s Villages looked after more than 500 children, lodging them, giving them food and other care. Also at the height of the crisis, SOS was serving more than 20,000 hot meals per day.

Construction of the new Children’s Village in Les Cayes began at the end of December 2012, and the ‘laying-of-the-first-stone’ ceremony was held on 11 March 2013.

The Children’s Village includes 14 family houses, an administration area, a house for the SOS “aunts” who help look after the children and another for visitors. Situated on a large plot of land covering almost 26,000 square metres, the village offers the children ample recreational space.

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Currently 63 children receive loving care from 13 SOS aunts in the village. The staff also comprise social workers, two family facilitators, one child development assistant, and one administrative secretary, led by Village Director Volny Etienne.

Cloreine, who has been an SOS mother for five years, looks after four children and has been living in the Village in Les Cayes since September 2013. She said: “It is such a joy to have all these people here. To look after SOS children in a village like this is something extraordinary. It makes me so happy to be with the children, to protect them, to live with them, and to support them.”

Thanks to Amanda Eisen from SOS Children’s Villages USA for sharing this story.

5 Winners, 5 Stories in Taiwan

Jan 19, 2015

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The Amway Hope Maker Foundation in Taiwan has announced the final five winners of the second annual Pursue Your Dream campaign.

The five winning programs included an aboriginal children’s music group, a junior high school baseball team, a primary school skating team, a media training program for the children of immigrant residents and an experiential tour remote areas by the Sun Flower girls.

Each program will be awarded a Dream Fund of $1.5 million NT (US$50,400).

The first round of applicants was narrowed by 50% by the general public through online voting. The next round was reduced by another 50% by a 14-person judge panel consisting of the government officials, legislator, media, CSR professionals and the Foundation board and Amway Business Owner leaders.

With an e-voting campaign to select the final winners, total voting reached 42,282 with 30,056 Facebook fans of the Foundation.

The beautiful stories of the five winning projects were shared at a press conference held on December 25.

Thanks to Julie Wu for sharing this story.

Fighting Malnutrition at US Easter Seals Event

Jan 16, 2015

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Two great partnerships came together recently in Long Beach, California. The Nutrilite Power of 5 campaign was launched in the United States at the Easter Seals Walk With Me event.

Easter Seals has been a longtime partner of Amway in the United States and Canada. Walk With Me events are attended by Amway Independent Business Owners and employees across multiple cities.

At the Long Beach walk late last year, participants could add their handprint to our global collage that is raising awareness of the issue of global childhood malnutrition. Throughout 2014, Amway was matching every handprint collected with a $1 donation to CARE, our global partner for the Nutrilite Power of 5 campaign.

Stay tuned to hear the results of our efforts in the next few months, and find out whether we broke a Guinness World Record for the handprints collected worldwide.

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Thanks to Marsha Champion for sharing this story. You can learn more and participate at powerof5.nutrilite.com.

Honoring Inspiring Young Adults in India

Jan 15, 2015

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At Amway, we admire people who struggle through adversity to realize their full potential.

That measure of respect was reflected recently in a decision by Amway Opportunity Foundation (AOF) – the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of Amway India – to bestow awards to five young men and women who serve as inspiring examples to us all.

The recipients of the AOF Young Achievers Award were celebrated for the ways in which they have overcome various visual impairments, during a glittering ceremony held in Chandigarh in November.

Those honored were Maheshinder Singh Khosla, who founded an Internet-based radio for the visually impaired; Dipankar Burman, a post-graduate student working at Bapujee College; Rahul Gunwant Kelapure, a member of the Securities and Exchange Board of India; N.M. Swathi, an officer with State Bank of India; and Shajahan J., captain of the Kerala University Blind Cricket Team.

The AOF Young Achievers Award recognizes the talent and efforts of young achievers who soar in their respective fields, despite having a visual impairment.

Rahul Kelapure, for example, was singled out for his prowess at speed-reading, despite being challenged with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that causes severe vision impairment and often blindness.

Mr. Kelapure shared with the selection committee that he has always been inspired by a quote from Helen Keller: “Keep your face to the sunshine and you will never see the shadows.”

Amway’s AOF has been supporting the visually challenged throughout India since 1999, with a variety of initiatives that have benefited tens of thousands of children and adults.

Their efforts are another reminder of how we might not only help others lead better lives, but acknowledge those in our midst who inspire us to do our best.

Thanks to Raj Narain for sharing this story.

Second Community House Dedicated Since 2011 Quake

Jan 12, 2015

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One nail and one stick of lumber at a time, Amway continues to help re-build areas of Japan devastated by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that killed more than 15,000 and left thousands more homeless and without hope.

Just several weeks ago, during a moving ceremony attended by government officials and Amway Business Owners, a second Amway Community House was dedicated to the people of Soma City in the Fukushima Prefecture.

The house, which will be operated by the non-profit organization Soma Hotokusha, is part of the Remember HOPE project, founded with the aim of constructing as many as a dozen community homes in areas ravaged by the 9.0 earthquake that then triggered a deadly tsunami.

The Soma City house is especially significant, since it is located very close to counties that are still polluted by radiation that leaked from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant.

Dignitaries who attended the dedication included the mayor of Soma City, the ambassador for Remember HOPE, members of the U.S. Embassy, media, residents – and Amway distributors who participated in the construction effort.

As part of the ceremony, volunteers planted 20 dogwood trees donated by the US government, to reciprocate for the donation of Sakura trees sent to the US 100 years ago.

The first Amway Community House debuted in the Tokohu district, and like the house just finished in Soma City, it functions as a hub for children and families affected by the 2011 tragedy.

At Amway, we’re always grateful for the opportunity to serve others, and we’re especially hopeful that this ongoing initiative will continue to use our hands to bind the hearts of communities in Japan.

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Thanks to Kafuu Toh and Taku Yoshino for sharing this story.

Research Points to Youth as Entrepreneurial Asset in Lithuania

Jan 09, 2015

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The fabled Greek biographer Laertius wrote that “The foundation of every state is the education of its youth.”

That adage is being explored throughout the Republic of Lithuania, where recent research commissioned by Amway demonstrates that entrepreneurial initiatives in that country can be enhanced in profound ways by investing heavily in Lithuania’s youth.

The findings helped fuel discussions between the American Chamber of Commerce and Lithuanian representatives from the business, political and educational sectors during Global Entrepreneurship Week this past November – with all parties eager to explore the long-term effects of entrepreneurship.

During roundtable discussions on Youth Entrepreneurship at the event in November, as well as the Economic Forum of Young Leaders in September, strategies were explored in efforts to establish stronger links between Lithuania’s business environment and youth entrepreneurship.

Amway’s research — and subsequent efforts to expand business opportunities for youth – were praised by Lithuania’s Minister of Education and Science, Dainius Pavalkis, who emphasized that “investing in youth entrepreneurship should provide the greatest return to the state.” Pavalkis noted, too, that “investment measures to promote entrepreneurship is not enough,” and called on advocates to also stress the fundamentals of a sound education.

Lithuania’s interest in entrepreneurship mirrors that of other countries that also have been the subject of Amway research, which concludes that entrepreneurship is directly linked to global prosperity, sustainable development and economic growth.

Thanks to Sarah Wellner for sharing this story. Photo credit: Economic Forum of Young Leaders 2014.

Orlando Magic Game Culminates Handprint Events

Jan 07, 2015

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In every handprint lies a connection to one another.

Those connections were celebrated in grand style last month at an Orlando Magic NBA game, which served as the backdrop for Amway’s final Raise Your Hand event of 2014.

Our collective quest to amass tens of thousands of handprints translates to an unprecedented worldwide fight against childhood malnutrition, a leading cause of death among boys and girls 5 and younger.

Over the course of 2014, Amway has been conducting a series of Raise Your Hand events, pledging to donate $1 for every handprint and signature collected. The funds go to CARE International, our global partner helping us supply developing countries with Nutrilite Little Bits, a vitamin-packed powder that’s the cornerstone of Amway’s Nutrilite Power of 5 Campaign.

The year-long effort came to a dramatic climax on December 23 when Amway’s Corporate Social Responsibility division partnered with the Orlando Magic and its fans to present Helene D. Gayle, CEO of CARE International, with a check representing the amount of handprints collected that evening.

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Amway will match donations to the campaign by up to $400,000 USD, with the expectation that we can break the 30,006-person Guinness World Record for the largest collage of handprints ever collected.

The money raised will go to CARE, which distributes Nutrilite Little Bits to partnering humanitarian organizations in Guatemala, Panama, Dominican Republic, Mexico and Zambia, with plans to expand into additional countries over the next three years.

A final tally and celebration is planned to coincide with the global Amway Founders Council meeting in Washington, D.C. in May, 2015.

According to the World Health Organization, some 7 million children under the age of 5 die each year from preventable causes, and malnutrition is the underlying cause of 45 percent of these deaths.

At Amway, we find that unconscionable, and pledge to use all of our resources in the ongoing battle to bring healthy options to hungry youngsters.

For more information about the Nutrilite Power of 5 Campaign and how you can reach out, visit powerof5.nutrilite.com.