SYDNEY ENTREPRENEUR BECOMES A REAL HERO
Written on the 9 August 2016 by Laura Daquino
STAY in school, kids, and you might just develop a business plan as great as Dustin Leonard's of HERO Condoms.
"Being from the US, I was always under the impression we were giving billions of dollars of aid to solve these problems and we were on the right track," says Leonard.
"It's not the case. When we were in Botswana for HERO, we were speaking with an agency meant to be receiving a three-month supply from the government - but they said they would be out of stock for months on end.
"We get the question all the time about how responsive our recipients actually are, and while in some parts of Africa less than 20 per cent of people believe in the good of condoms, each country is significantly different," says Leonard.
"Sometimes, or a lot of the time, people will receive foreign aid and actually resell it in another country for profit so it doesn't actually reach those who need it most.
"We realised after about a year and a half that HERO would no longer be viable if we didn't get into grocery. It's tricky business," he says.
"While we are being socially responsible though, the retailers have recognised that, and have been a little kinder to us. We have been able to turn a penny into a dollar with all of our marketing spend, just via the cause and creativity."