Nestlé Central and West Africa has introduced two initiatives through the sale of hot Nescafe in crowded areas and open markets while creating job opportunities for the youth.
In the “My Own Business” (MYOWBU) initiative, young people majority of whom are female, sell hot Nescafé from specially designed backpacks, which enable them to dispense coffee by the cup.
Nestlé in a statement issued in Accra and copied to the press said in the “Pushcart” initiative, Nescafé sellers mainly young males are provided with pushcarts, instead of backpacks.
In both cases, the Nescafé sellers get hot water from micro-entrepreneurs who run their small enterprises in kitchens around open markets.
Nestlé helps them to set up their kitchens and provides them with all the equipment, as well as providing continuous training on safety, hygiene and basic business skills.
In 2014, about 55 million Nescafé cups were sold on the streets in Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Senegal, Cameroon, Nigeria, and Burkina Faso, creating more than 4,500 jobs.
“Youth unemployment is a major issue in Central and West Africa and as Nestlé grows we have also the opportunity to support the economy. Empowering young women and men in this way can help their communities and at the same time create business opportunities for our company — this is what we call: Creating Shared Value.”
Nestlé says August 12 marked the International Youth Day and salute its MYOWBU and Puschart sellers.
Bouda Elisabeth, a MYOWBU seller in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso said: “I have been a MYOWBU seller for one year now. Thanks to this activity, I can pay for my daughter’s schooling and evening classes for myself. I can also help my parents financially.”
“Thanks to my job as Nescafé seller, I have been able to rent an apartment and I am looking forward to saving enough in order to build my own shop. Because the peak time for selling coffee is early in the morning, I can still go to school or participate in other business ventures for the rest of the day. It’s hard work, but it’s very rewarding,” said Comfort Dorkutso, also MYOWBU seller in Accra, Ghana.
According to Nanga Kuete Carine, a MYOWBU seller in Douala, Cameroon: “The job is an independent one. You work your way with less constraints. You deliver the products and you take your money. Every year, I pay the school fees for my younger brothers back in the village. You cannot be hungry when you sell coffee.”
Opeyemi Oladeji, a MYOWBU seller in Lagos, Nigeria said: “MYOWBU has changed my life, I can now pay my rent and still attend catering school.”