In every Kenyan neighborhood, the humble Duka stands as a cornerstone of community life. Today, we celebrate not just these small shops but the launch of a transformative initiative – the National Duka-owners Association. This association, a culmination of the Smart Duka program by TechnoServe and the elea Foundation for Ethics in Globalization, is set to reshape the future of the micro-retail sector in Kenya.
A Vital Force in Local Economies
With membership already comprising 42 business groups and 1,600 members, the National Duka-owners Association is more than just an organization; it’s a movement to amplify the voices of micro-retailers across the country. As we launch, the association already boasts a network spanning ten regional associations, including Nairobi, Kiambu, Mombasa, Machakos, Embu, and Kajiado.
Fueling Economic Growth
These Duka-owners aren’t merely retailers; they are entrepreneurs, community builders, and economic drivers. The micro-retail sector contributes significantly to the Kenyan economy, generating KES 816 billion in 2022, with a 4% year-on-year increase. Employment opportunities within this sector are vast, providing livelihoods for countless individuals and families. The micro-retail sector offers a diverse array of jobs, making it a significant source of employment.
Preserving Tradition and Fostering Innovation
The association is not just about numbers; it’s about preserving local identity and tradition. Dukas are not just places of commerce; they are social hubs, fostering unity among diverse voices. They provide a platform for traditional crafts, support small-scale industries, and serve as launchpads for entrepreneurship.
Formalizing Success with Smart Duka
Despite their significance, many operators within this sector are still categorized as “informal.” The Smart Duka program is the catalyst for change, incorporating technology to formalize and elevate these businesses. Through this initiative, Duka-owners gain access to finance, market linkages, and digital solutions, propelling them into a more sustainable and formalized future.
The Association Launch – A Pivotal Moment
As we launch the National Duka-owners Association, we celebrate a pivotal moment in the micro-retail sector. This association will amplify the collective strength of Duka-owners, providing a unified voice to address challenges, negotiate better agreements, and access more opportunities. The significance of this launch goes beyond an event; it marks the beginning of a journey toward a more empowered and formalized micro-retail sector in Kenya.
Join Us in Reshaping the Future
To all Kenyans, we extend an invitation to join us in reshaping the future of the micro-retail sector. Visit your neighborhood Duka, engage with the National Duka-owners Association, and be a part of the movement that empowers communities, preserves tradition, and fosters economic growth. Together, let’s build a more sustainable and prosperous future for micro-retailers across Kenya.