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.


Video: Maua Summary: Clara Shen



Economics of Mutuality is a robust methodology that embraces the duty and the opportunity for business leaders to reposition the corporation positively, in ways that reflect the changing needs of society and the environment while unlocking untapped growth and value creation opportunities.

Jay Jakub
Senior Director, Mars Catalyst


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.