In Latin America, a large proportion of beer is sold through traditional trade channels, which are often small, family-owned and -operated businesses. That is why we are committed to helping small retailers in our value chain to develop and grow, in order to support the current and next generation of entrepreneurs.
Small-scale shopkeepers, known locally as tenderos, are the beating heart of many communities across the region. But life is not always easy for a tendero. Their shops often earn just enough revenue to meet the daily needs of the owners and their families. To address these challenges, we take a holistic, collaborative approach to create a step change in improving their livelihoods and prospects, partnering with other organizations to help these tenderos develop and grow their businesses.
Launched three years ago, our 4e Path to Progress program across six markets in Latin America has supported over 20,000 tenderos with business and leadership training, in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank and FUNDES. Participating tenderos have increased average sales growth in the year post-training. In Peru and Colombia, this approach has been widened to include access to micro-finance and technology.
Supporting small retailers also plays an important role in empowering women, who operate small stores in the six markets the program targets. According to the World Bank, economically empowering women boosts GDP, enhances productivity and feeds other development outcomes including those that directly impact children. Leveling the gender playing field can, in time, also lead to a fairer and more inclusive society.
Learning from our experience in Latin America, we launched a Retailer Development Program across 13 markets in Africa, training over 9,000 small retailers to date to help improve their businesses and incomes. In 2017, we plan to build on our learnings from these programs to launch a new retailer development program in Mexico.
Retailers support in action
Peru: Financial inclusion
Since 2012, Backus, our business in Peru, has collaborated with banks, microfinance institutions and government, enabling access to financial services to small retailers in rural communities. The initiative provided retailers, who previously had no access to financial services, with technology to access payment services and obtain loans with preferential terms.
Developing African retailers
Thriving small businesses are the backbone of local communities and economies. In 2014, a group of people from our team in South Africa traveled to Latin America to find out more about our small retailer support program known as ‘4e Camino al Progreso’ (Path to Progress). Two years on, a ‘’made in Africa’’ Retailer Development Program has just completed its first full year of full implementation in 13 countries in Africa, helping ‘mom and pop’ stores improve the sustainability of their businesses and the quality of life for their families.