The women, known as Vanis (communicators), sell soap, shampoo and other personal care products through social forums such as schools and village gatherings. There are currently over 45,000 Shakti entrepreneurs in more than 135,000 villages across 15 Indian states. Unilever provides training in sales practices, commercial knowledge and bookkeeping to help them become micro-entrepreneurs.
Project Shakti also consists of public awareness programs focusing on health and hygiene, as well as an i-Shakti initiative that allows villagers to access information through kiosks.
By the end of 2007, more than 45,000 Shakti entrepreneurs covered 3 million homes in 100,000 villages in 15 Indian states. By the end of 2010, Shakti aims to have 100,000 entrepreneurs covering 500,000 villages and reaching over 600 million people.
Shakti is now being adapted in other Unilever markets such as Sri Lanka, Viet Nam and Bangladesh, and is also being considered for Latin American and African markets. At the end of 2007, Sri Lanka had over 3,500 entrepreneurs covering 275,000 households in 4,000 villages, and 4,250 entrepreneurs in Bangladesh were covering 400,000 households in 8,000 villages.