The power of giving, why Zaggora gives $5 from every order to create opportunity

Zaggora founder Dessi Bell writes about Giving: how we are all better when we focus on helping others

Zaggora giving

At Zaggora, we believe in giving to make a difference. We’ve had many blessings in our lives and been offered a tremendous amount of opportunities. Opportunity creates a sense of duty to help others. We thank our customers every day for trusting us and we work hard to create more products that make life easier. Our mission is to be a source of good and move the wellbeing conversation away from inner looking self to a more open and inclusive space.

This has led us to start out Zaggora Giving, a program which now sits at the heart of our business.

We give $5 from every order on zaggora.com to help a woman in the developing world gain practical skills and start a small business. This helps to improve her health and life and creates a ripple effect for her family and community. While helping ourselves to be healthy, we help others to also improve their health.

We know from research, that increased income for women improves the lives of their families disproportionately more than the same increase in income for men. (1) If you’re a dude and you’re reading this, please take note, it’s true.

Giving, when done right, is a powerful tool to help improve the life of another human being and create a sense of connection in our busy lives. Altruism takes our focus away from our selves and helps us create a mind that is more open, adventurous and happier. That’s not the reason we do it, but it becomes a by-product. In fact altruism is linked in research to healthier, lengthier and happier life (2).

The story of Zaggora Giving

Women living in the US or Western Europe have unprecedented level of rights, income and independence.

Yes things could be better, but we have it pretty good in the context of human history. During our time some women are born in places where things we take for granted such as education, property rights, societal standing and basic health are not available. To create a more equitable and fairer world, it is crucial that those of us who are able to succeed remember to help others.

As a university student in London in 2003, I decided I wanted to spend my summer working with a charitable organisation in India. I was fortunate to meet Gravis working tirelessly for over 30 years to improve the lives of the people of the Thar Desert. Their work includes women’s rights, health, education, agriculture and water security. I met the wonderful family who started Gravis and they welcomed me to live in their home for 2 months. The work they do is amazing! The Thar Desert is the size of the UK with a population of 1,2 million people and it only gets 200mm of rainfall a year. The Women Empowerment Programme that Zaggora supports works with 20k women. 85% of businesses are successful and provide women with access banking, source of income and improved standing in the community.

Whilst I was there, I saw first hand the positive impact of development work on the lives of so many people, people who really need it. I spent my time there meeting the community groups of women who were given education and funding to start small businesses. I learned about the challenges people face in every aspect of living in this harsh environment. This experience changed my life. It showed me that even in the harshest circumstances people maintained their dignity and positivity. Perspective is an amazing thing.

Today we work with our partner to ensure that our support creates opportunity for as many women as possible in the long term. We’re taking small steps, but with each one we get closer to living in a fairer world. I hope you may join us on our journey – we’d love to share it with you.

If you can do something small every day to give to another human, the world will be a  sunnier place. We’re more connected than we realize.

Thank you.

Dessi

 

(1) Deshpanda, Rani. Increasing Access and Benefits for Women: Practices and Innovations among Microfinance Institutions—Survey Results. New York: UNCDF, 2001.
(2) Altruism, happiness and health: it’s good to be good, Stephen G Post, International Journal of Behavioral Medicine, Jun 2005, Vol 12, Is 2, 66-77

Dessi founded Zaggora in 2011 after wanting a better workout. A few years later, Zaggora has sold over 1 million products to customers in 143 countries.

The mission is to help the world be healthier, happier and hotter. She established Zaggora Giving to give $5 from every Zaggora order to help create opportunity for women in the developing world.

Dessi is one of Management Today’s 35 Under 35 and regularly comments for the Financial Times and Sky News on Entrepreneurship and Small Business.