Being a leading player in Ghana’s beverage industry, Accra Brewery Limited (ABL), has since 2015 been embarking on an ambitious initiative to equip retailers of its products with some basic business skills to enable them improve on their trading activities.

The initiative focuses on the small retail outlets that have the widest consumer reach within ABL’s distribution network and are a crucial element of its value chain.  Over the years these outlets have played a critical role in helping tens of thousands of families escape poverty.

In a statement, the Corporate and Legal Affairs Director of Accra Brewery Limited, Ms. Adjoba Kyiamah, stressed that “by combining our scale, resources and energy with the needs of our communities, we have the drive and the tools to help make it happen.  We focus our efforts on building a growing world in our value chain where everyone has the opportunity to improve their livelihood”.

She noted that “some small retailers often lack the basic skills and knowledge to manage and grow their businesses effectively, leaving them at greater risk from economic or legislative shocks.  Conversations with retailers had consistently thrown up requests for us to help in this area, and the successful implementation of just such a scheme by our sister companies in Latin America provided the catalyst to make it happen.  The program will help small shopkeepers to improve the sustainability of their businesses, the quality of life for their families, and to contribute to improving the development of their communities”.

To date ABL has trained over 371 carefully selected retailers across the country in towns such as Sekondi, Enchi, Asankragwa, Sefwi Wiaso (Western Region), Berekum and Dormaa Ahenkro (Brong Ahafo Region).  The training being coordinated by Sales Development Manager, Franklin Addae and Corporate Affairs Manager, Cyrus deGraft-Johnson is also targeting retailers in the Upper West, Upper East and Northern regions in towns such as Tamale, Navrongo, Sandema, Paga, Tumu and others.

The training modules include: Managing personal finances which focuses on a retailer’s management of their own finances, including business finances and financial statements.

Basic business skills which focuses on equipping retailers with general business management skills and practices.  Running my beer business which is designed to enable retailers to successfully manage a beer outlet, as well as providing an insight into our processes and operating systems.  Responsible retailing and environmental awareness which advocates self-regulation as a responsible retailer, as well as building awareness of regulatory and environmental issues.

It aims at empowering the retailers to adopt and implement best business practices and skills that will ultimately lead to a massive growth of their operations.

Many of the retailers have so far been impressed with the content of the training programme.  Feedback from participating retailers has been highly positive.  They believe this training will allow them not only to grow their outlets and profits, but also to ensure long-term sustainability through being better able to compete with the ‘formal’ trade in terms of offerings and consumer appeal as well as managing their business and personal finances.

Vincentia Mensah of Vinicom Gardens at Asankragwa in the Western Region had this to say “I am very glad I accepted the invitation to be part of this very useful activity.  I have learnt a lot, if nothing at all, how to draw a budget and keep an income statement”.

At Dormaa Ahenkro in the Brong Ahafo Region, Mr Justice Oppong of Aseda Spot noted “this is a good initiative.  I hope it covers the whole country.  I have now resolved not to sell to underage persons and pregnant women, among others”.

Source: Ghana/