•The model, also known as Maua program, has been running since 2013 and seeks to support micro and small enterprises to create jobs and sustainable livelihoods in Kenya.
•Bello said the program has been highly successful with a high retention rate of 85 per cent.
Chocolate and chewing gum maker, Mars Wrigley has announced plans to recruit an additional 1,000 entrepreneurs in Kenya before the end of the year.
This as the firm looks to scale up its distribution model targeting the low-income consumer market in the region.
The model, also known as Maua program, has been running since 2013 and seeks to support micro and small enterprises to create jobs and sustainable livelihoods in Kenya.
According to Mars Wrigley General Manager for Sub-Saharan Africa, Ismael Bello, the new push will bring the total number of Kenyan in the program to 2,600.
“Maua has been a success in driving our quest to reach the under-served consumer market, hence, the plan to expand the program in Kenya and the region,” said Bello.
The country’s confectionary market is expected to grow with preserved pastry goods and Cakes projected to drive the growth this year according to Statista.
Through Maua, the Confectionary maker partners with independent micro-entrepreneurs and micro-distributors to sell the company’s products in informal settlements and rural communities.
“With Maua, we seek to not only grow our business, but also create a platform to build both financial and social capital, working with individuals who are passionate about business and improving lives. We look forward to the next 10 years of Maua’s transformative impact,” explained Bello.
He said the program has been highly successful with a high retention rate of 85 per cent.
He disclosed the company will roll out the initiative in Tanzania in 2024 and Rwanda, 2025.
As an innovative route-to-market strategy, Maua targets consumers who are hard-to-reach through traditional product distribution channels.
Essentially, Mars Wrigley recruits and trains small-scale entrepreneurs whom it then supplies with the company’s fast-moving products including such iconic brands as Big G, Juicy Fruit, PK and Doublemint. The company also provides the tools of trade like backpacks, bicycles and motorbikes to facilitate the traders.
In 2018, Mars Wrigley committed to increase the number of women entrepreneurs in the program. By empowering women with opportunities to earn a decent livelihood, Maua indirectly contributes to the realization of an inclusive and prosperous society.