In Ethiopia, people often lack access to consumer goods due to a shortage of distributors serving the last mile. Additionally, women living in rural areas face a dearth of employment and income opportunities.
With local women’s associations and the Ministry of labour and skill, Kidame Mart recruits and trains rural female entrepreneurs to become sales agents and provide last mile distribution.
TRANSFORM supported Kidame Mart to pilot, test and scale a new initiative by joining forces with EthioChicken, which had an established last mile distribution model. Kidame Mart leveraged this to provide a ‘basket of goods’ including nutritional and hygiene products.
Together they tested the sharing of agents between Kidame Mart and Ethiochicken, developed logistics, recruited sales agents and managed distribution. The partnership has also enabled Kidame Mart to train agents to use mobile money to purchase monthly products, building a credit history which allowed them access to finance to grow their business.
Further TRANSFORM funding in response to COVID-19 enabled Kidame Mart to include improved hygiene measures in their agent training programme. In addition, they are collaborating to create WASH related training and an innovative pilot to allow sales agents to sell hygiene and sanitation products from small kiosks. Consequently, Kidame Mart has doubled in size to 3,000 female entrepreneurs in 110 rural locations.
In partnering together, TRANSFORM and Kidame Mart have demonstrated progress in terms of bringing positive impacts to the lives of women. As a result both the public and private sector - international and local - have started to invest in Kidame Mart. Using these new partnerships the number of sales agents has grown from 3,000 to more than 4,000 within a year.
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