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New initiative aims to develop retailer skills

Retailers participating the in Zambian Breweries' Retailer Development Programme

Retailers participating the in Zambian Breweries’ Retailer Development Programme

LUSAKA, ZAMBIA – October 12, 2015 – Small shopkeepers and bar owners look set to cash-in on a new initiative launched by Zambian Breweries that aims to give them the skills to grow their businesses.

The Mama Mpapa retailer development programme gives entrepreneurs an opportunity to expand their capacity and improve their output significantly.

Mama Mpapa is a Bemba term that depicts a parent-child relationship that grows over time and results in the productive independence of the child, and which entails supporting both family and community.

The Zambian Breweries programme is aimed at developing and nurturing small retailers, manual distribution centres (MDCs) and retailer taverns through targeted skills development in order to create an enabling environment for small businesses within urban and peri-urban areas across the country.

Retailers will have the chance to receive accredited business training at no cost, and will be able to earn accreditation points for redemption upon completion of training, allowing them to qualify for a mentorship programme in the second year of the programme.

The course will help them to benefit from strategies tailored to improve infrastructure, environment, health, water and education support where necessary

“Small retailers and manual distribution centres are critical to our business. They have direct contact with a large section of our population and may even be thought of as our middle men, in a sense. That’s why we’re excited about the Mama Mpapa programme. The transfer of skills is necessary for their success. And their success is our success and the community’s success. We are looking forward to replicating the success that we experience in Lusaka in other regions across the nation,” said Zambian Breweries Corporate Affairs Director Ezekiel Sekele.

In the current financial year the programme is targeting 600 small retailers, 60 per cent of whom are to be female.

Over the next five years, the programme will have undertaken training to more than 3,000 small enterprises in Zambia.

Modules to be covered include basic business principles, personal money management, running my beer business and responsible trading.