3 min read
Jan 2024

Mars Global Emerging Markets



  • Since 2013, we have been partnering with Mars, Incorporated, a large food and pet-care multinational company, to develop route-to-market micro-distribution businesses in emerging markets using the Economics of Mutuality.

  • The first pilot named Maua took place in Kenyan city slums and rural areas inaccessible to traditional distribution methods. The programme then expanded to include EDEN, which deploys similar business models in Egypt, the Philippines, and India.

  • The projects have been designed to engage the human and social capital that is present, but typically hidden, within areas lacking infrastructure and investment. Their purpose has been to improve the income and wellbeing of impoverished communities while opening new markets.


Orchestrating the ecosystem:

  • Addressing the needs of multiple stakeholders.

  • Partnering with new, non-traditional stakeholders to recruit entrepreneurs. E.g. With NGOs and churches that have built community trust.

  • Creating supportive learning communities for entrepreneurs.

  • Allowing entrepreneurs to make a living by selling a portfolio of products not exclusive to the company’s brands.

  • Developing a mobile application to support with data collection and information exchange.

  • Increasing productivity of entrepreneurs through access to financing – e.g., purchase of motorbikes.

Using multi-capital metrics to track performance:

  • Developing new metrics, incentives, and accountability systems to support, measure, and reward holistic value creation and long-term success.


Non-financial impact:

  • Holistic value generated for the business.

  • High levels of human/social capital for 25,000 entrepreneurs by 2025.

  • Retention rates boosted by high trust/inclusion (e.g., 85% in Kenya).

Financial impact:

  • Contributing to the business top line and bottom line.

  • Objective of creating 1 billion new transactions by 2025.

  • Maua accounts for ~15-20% of the Net Sales Value of the Kenya business and has demonstrated the strongest resilience/growth, even through Covid-19.

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