Like-minded organisations join the cause to uplift and build Kenya’s micro and small business enterprises
The Coca-Cola System in Kenya, in partnership with like-minded institutions; Laikipia County, Women Enterprise Fund (WEF), Absa, and Amref Health Africa in Kenya has today launched an initiative to support small and micro business outlets across the country to recover and reopen after the COVID-19 impact on the economy that saw most of them lose revenue and close.
Speaking during the launch in Nairobi, Phillipine Mtikitiki, Vice President and General Manager, Coca-Cola East & Central Africa Franchise said: “Over the last few months we have been focusing on the health and safety of our employees and communities. We are now extending our support to our local economies and micro-small businesses. The closure of the economy at the time was the correct action to curb the spread of the virus, and we commend the Government of Kenya. To help those who have always been at the heart of our social fabric but had to temporarily close through the months of lockdown, we as a system, have commited Kshs 125 million towards supporting our trade partners and waste collectors, eateries, restaurants, bars and kiosks”.
The support is targetting 18,000 trade outlets across the country who will receive personal protective equipment including masks and faceshields, handwashing jerrycans, sanitizers, and garden furniture to enable them to enforce the required social distancing. They will also be provided with communication and awareness materials related to COVID-19 safety and precautions.
Hon.Ndiritu Muriithi, Laikipia County Governor, emphasized: “In addition to Coca-Cola’s support to our traders, the county is partnering with various financial institutions to provide traders with a working capital injection on the realization that the key barrier to trade is affordable loans. Absa will provide business loans, which the Laikipia Government will support traders to offset at 0.5% of the interest amount. The county has already committed Kshs 70 million towards this.
Under the initiative, the traders and their staff will also benefit from COVID-19 health and safety training provided by Amref Health, to help them adhere to government business opening and operating guidelines. Absa, the financial business partner will facilitate access to business loans to the traders that require working capital to revive their enterprises, including restocking.
“We are delighted to be part of this noble initiative that will contribute to ensuring that our economy starts to grow again and that businesses comply to national health and safety guidelines. Our role in this initiative is to empower traders with the knowledge that enables them to operate safely while ensuring they maintain a safe space for their customers. This will be done through an easy to understand and adopt training curriculum and application of a set standard of operating procedures,” said Dr. Meshack Ndirangu, Amref Country Director, Kenya.
Small traders and waste collectors across the country have experienced unprecedented losses occasioned by the effects of the Coronavirus that continues to spread across the world. These losses have subjected households and families, and our environment to numerous challenges.
“We will continue to prioritise initiatives that support our traders as they reopen for business and we are already rolling out some initial support that will be augmented by what we are officially launching today. The response from our trade partners
has so far has been very positive, and we hope that in the coming months they will regain consumer confidence and record more business,” said Xavier Selga, Managing Director, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa – Kenya.
“Many people and our environment have suffered during this pandemic. Investing back into the ‘small giants’ of our country, those micro and small businesses that are the backbone of Kenya’s resilience, is the least we could do. And we are humbled and honoured to be joined by other like-minded organisations to bring their services and skills to support those who need it most. Together, we believe we can emerge stronger and create a better shared future’, concluded Mtikitiki.
Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa (CCBSA) is a proudly South African company which began operating as a legal entity in July 2016, after the merger of six non-alcoholic ready to drink bottling operations. We employ over 7000 people at 13 manufacturing facilities across the country.
As a subsidiary of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) and a bottler for The Coca-Cola Company, our vision is to refresh Africa every day and make our continent a better place for all. We manufacture and distribute Coca-Cola beverages that make life’s everyday moments more enjoyable, while doing business the right way. The result is shared opportunity for our customers, our employees, our communities, and our shareholders.
We conduct our business ethically, transparently and conscientiously. We espouse an inclusive business culture to reflect our African identity. We accelerate sustainable, profitable revenue growth across all categories and offer an innovative portfolio of products that respond to customer needs and consumer preferences. Profitability is important, but not at any cost. People matter. Our planet matters. We do business the right way by following our values and partnering for solutions that benefit us all.