Program Boosted Profits for Micro-Retailers, an Engine for Local Economies in Kenya and Nigeria

TechnoServe recently completed the project to support a vital sector in African economies

Nairobi – Nonprofit organization TechnoServe today announced the results of the Mom and Pop Shops project, which reached nearly 1,000 owners and employees of micro-retail outlets over two years. After participating in the program, which was funded by grants from the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress initiative, the elea Foundation for Ethics in Globalization, and others, participating shops in Kenya experienced average profit increases of 25 percent, while those in Nigeria increased their profits by an average of 41 percent.

Small, “mom-and-pop” shops are vitally important to African economies, providing jobs and income in vulnerable communities and serving as a source of essential goods for base-of-the-pyramid consumers. In Nairobi, where such shops are referred to as dukas, they supply 80 percent of all consumer goods. Nevertheless, the owners and employees of these shops rarely have business training, and limited financial and business skills limit the stores’ profitability and growth.

With the support of 12 Citi employee volunteers, the Mom and Pop Shops project helped to build the capacity of these shops. The project provided training on core business skills, such as financial and inventory management, marketing, record-keeping, and conducting basic market studies. The program also helped the store owners to form business groups that can negotiate bulk purchases and provide rotating credit. In Kenya, the program piloted a digital solution for dukas, allowing shop owners and employees to use their mobile phones to track inventory, cash flow, and customer credit. Under the Pan-Africa Youth Entrepreneurship Development  (PAYED) program, TechnoServe and the Citi Foundation will build on the success of the program.

In February 2017, the Citi Foundation expanded their Pathways to Progress initiative globally, committing $100 million over the next three years for empowering 500,000 young people to develop employability skills and entrepreneurial mind-sets. Working alongside leading community organizations and municipal leaders, the initiative will test and scale proven solutions, building on the impact achieved so far with partners such as TechnoServe.

“Our work with TechnoServe through our Pathways to Progress initiative addresses the issue of youth unemployment. The PAYED program tackles this matter head-on by providing young people with the opportunities and training they need to start and run their own businesses successfully. We are proud to be in partnership with TechnoServe on this initiative that is clearly changing the lives of young Africans,” said Karim Seifeddine, Citi’s Government and Public Affairs Head for Middle East & Africa

“In many places across Africa, micro-retailers are the backbone of local economies,” said TechnoServe’s Alice Waweru, manager of the project. “As these entrepreneurs worked with us to take their business to the next level, they benefited not only themselves and their families, but the larger community around them. We are excited to continue partnering with the Citi Foundation to help these enterprising business people create even greater economic opportunities.”


About TechnoServe
TechnoServe is a leader in harnessing the power of the private sector to help people lift themselves out of poverty. A nonprofit organization operating in 30 countries, we work with enterprising men and women in the developing world to build competitive farms, businesses and industries. By linking people to information, capital and markets, we have helped millions to create lasting prosperity for their families and communities.

With nearly 50 years of proven results, TechnoServe believes in the power of private enterprise to transform lives.