Mars shared its success story of Maua with hundreds of entrepreneurs from all over the world this past weekend during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit held in Nairobi, Kenya.The Summit, opened by President Obama and President Uhuru Kenyatta came alive with inspiring stories from entrepreneurs as well as multinational companies such as Mars, intentional in transforming the lives of millions of people around the world through innovation and inclusive entrepreneurship.
Speaking at one of the panel discussion forums focusing on how innovation can drive connections with consumers, Wrigley EA General Manager Daniel Omosa said that entrepreneurs should focus not only on quick gains but on how they can make their businesses more inclusive and sustainable. “Mars is keen on the sustainability agenda ensuring that our ingredient sourcing, ethical business policies as well as empowering communities are all high on our agenda and embedded in our mutuality principle.”
Maua is one of the innovative ways through which Wrigley is reaching customers while making a positive impact on social capital. Through the Maua program Wrigley has created more than 490 entrepreneurs in Kenya, a significant number of them being women, transforming their lives both socially and financially. “Currently over 30% of Maua entrepreneurs are women and this has changed their lives and the communities in which they live.” Daniel said.
Women and youth were a key focus at the summit and this was highlighted during President Obama’s opening speech in which he said that by empowering women, economic growth would be realized. “Women are powerhouse entrepreneurs. When women succeed, they invest more in their families and communities,” he added.
Also highlighted at the panel session was the importance of innovation and the ability to co-create products in order to connect with consumers. On this Daniel said, “The consumer is king and you must be ready to listen, adapt and improve on your product quality efficiently to ensure success.”
As a prelude to the Summit, the international media network Al Jazeera ran a feature “Counting the Cost – The Battle of Hearts, Minds and Trade in Africa” in which journalist Andrew Simmons interviews Daniel Omosa and takes a look at the US-Africa trade relationship [to watch click here]. Wrigley has been highlighted as an American company investing in Kenya and leading the way in instilling confidence in other investors to operate in Africa. Wrigley recently broke ground for the construction of a $63 million state-of-the-art factory at a time when multinational manufacturers are pulling out of the market and investing elsewhere.
The Global Entrepreneurship Summit is an initiative of the US government and this sixth edition was held in Sub-Saharan Africa for the first time. For more on this story please visit click on this link: "Wrigley and Mars Inspire African Entrepreneurs at Summit Opened by Barack Obama"
-- Wrigley Corporate Affairs, East Africa