Developing-world retailers are embracing the "Avon ladies" business model, with female entrepreneurs employing door-to-door saleswomen to hawk products including soap, medicine and solar lamps. "By having people at their doorstep from the local community, people they can relate with, telling them about this new product, they're more likely to consider it," says Shivani Siroya of InVenture, which uses the model to sell money-management services in India.

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