In every corner of Kenya, the heartbeat of local economies can be found in the unassuming but vital structures known as Dukas. These small shops, often overlooked, play a monumental role in community life, entrepreneurship, and economic growth.
Today, we stand on the cusp of a transformative moment as we celebrate the launch of the National Duka-owners Association, an initiative set to reshape the future of the Kenyan micro-retail sector.
Unveiling a Collective Vision
The National Duka-owners Association marks the culmination of the Smart Duka 3.0 program, a collaborative effort between TechnoServe and the elea Foundation for Ethics in Globalization. This ambitious project seeks to elevate micro-retailers, making them more efficient, formal, and sustainable while fostering stronger partnerships with ecosystem actors.
Strength in Unity: Numbers Tell the Story
As of October 2023, the association boasts an impressive 42 business groups with 1,600 members. These figures underscore the vast impact and potential of the micro-retail sector, which has become a key player in the Kenyan economy. The National Duka-owners Association provides a platform for these entrepreneurs to join forces, addressing common challenges and unlocking new opportunities.
Government Support: A Pivotal Partnership with MSEA
The launch of the National Duka-owners Association is not just a private-sector endeavor—it is a partnership between the private sector and the government. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between TechnoServe and the Micro and Small Enterprise Authority (MSEA) sets the framework for collaboration in areas such as capacity building, access to finance, formalization, and post-harvest loss management.
Speaking on the collaboration, Mr. Henry Rithaa, CEO of MSEA, emphasized, “Our mission is to create an environment that makes our MSE sector globally competitive, and we are honored to partner with such noble stakeholders who are appreciative and aligned with meeting this National goal.”
A Catalyst for Economic Growth
The micro-retail sector is more than just a collection of shops—it’s a dynamic force that fuels employment, entrepreneurship, and innovation. It provides a gateway for local farmers, artisans, and entrepreneurs to showcase their products, fostering a sense of community and preserving Kenyan identity.
Looking Ahead: The Vision for the Micro-Retail Sector
As we embark on this transformative journey, the National Duka-owners Association envisions a future where micro-retailers are formalized, empowered, and actively contributing to Kenya’s economic prosperity. The association aims to create a supportive ecosystem, promote business growth, and facilitate access to markets and financing.
Join Us in Shaping the Future
The launch of the National Duka-owners Association is a call to action for all stakeholders—government bodies, private enterprises, and the wider community. By joining hands, we can collectively empower micro-retailers, foster economic growth, and preserve the unique identity of the Kenyan micro-retail sector.
As we celebrate this milestone, let us reflect on the power of unity and collaboration. The National Duka-owners Association is not just an association—it’s a movement, a force for positive change that will resonate across communities and elevate the micro-retail sector to new heights.
Together, we are reshaping the future of the Kenyan micro-retail sector—one Duka at a time.