Uncovering Hidden Riches

Project Maua, Kenya:
A Demand-Side Business Model


Launching Project Maua

In 2013, in collaboration with Wrigley East Africa, Catalyst launched the Maua business pilot to provide a new route to market for Wrigley products. The pilot aimed to engage consumers in informal settlements and rural areas that were difficult to reach through traditional channels.


People, Hidden Riches

The purpose of Maua was to unleash the benefits of entrepreneurship in challenging business contexts, through designing and implementing innovative business model design that engages the non-financial riches of impoverished areas that lack infrastructure and investment.


Holistic Performance Delivered

Today, Maua is a significant contributor to the Wrigley East Africa business, exceeding USD 7 million in sales (approx. 15% of total sales). However, Maua is assessed holistically; beyond business performance it also delivers measurable results across human and social capital.


Video: Maua Summary with Clara Shen



The potentially game-changing nature of this program becomes even clearer when it is compared to alternative strategies that have focussed on profit maximization or on CSR approaches. Our new business model uses the heretofore missing nonfinancial metrics of capitalism and uses them not just for impact measurement, but rather to drive greater business performance; holistically, yes, but also financially, all in ways that are measurable and trackable over time.

Bruno Roche and Jay Jakub
Completing Captialism


Looking Forward

Maua was quick to deliver success, demonstrating that a programme designed with a social mission could be financially profitable and scalable. In 2014, the programme reported double-digit growth. Starting with an initial seven micro-entrepreneurs operating in one slum area (Dandora), Maua has since grown to work with approximately 750 micro-entrepreneurs throughout Kenya and over 118 stock points. 

Despite Maua's many successes, there remain challenges and areas for improvement and further consideration. Participants remain vulnerable to the financial and physical risks associated with selling and working in rural areas and informal settlements. They also still confront the challenges of life with a low level of income, particularly for those who are unable to save. Nevertheless, Maua provides substantial evidence that EoM empowers companies to harness the benefits of entrepreneurship to be a force for good.