TechnoServe, an international nonprofit economic development organization, has partnered with the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) to host its 4th Virtual Micro Retail Stakeholder Forum.
The forum scheduled for 9th December is themed Adopting Digital Solutions to Overcome Key Micro-Retail Challenges.
According to the organisers, micro retailers have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and there is a need to build resilience in order to survive.
“While the crisis has created challenges for shopkeepers, it has also highlighted substantial opportunities that will help businesses adapt and survive the crisis,” TechnoServe said in an emailed statement to Khusoko.
“However, there remains a great deal of work to be done to ensure sustainable adoption of digital solutions,” they add.
The forum will provide an opportunity for key stakeholders to discuss what is working and which challenges remain.
Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, Chief Financial Services Officer, Safaricom PLC, will be the keynote speaker, sharing insights into the transformative nature of digital solutions for micro-enterprises in East Africa.
The panel, which will feature Wayne Hennessy-Barrett, CEO, 4G Capital; Angela Nzioki, CEO, Sokowatch Kenya; Anuj Tanna, Managing Director, Shujaaz Inc; and Karen Adie, Director of Merchant Services, Trade Depot Nigeria, will discuss strategies that micro retailers in Africa can use to ensure their businesses remain sustainable during the pandemic.
The panel will prioritize areas in digital training, access to finance, access to markets, and policy gaps in enhancing digital inclusion.
The forum emerges from the Smart Duka initiative, a micro-retail development program that seeks to improve shops’ financial returns and growth.
Since 2015, TechnoServe has worked with over 10,000 shops located in Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire to improve their business management skills and provide links to finance and markets.