Restaurants

Musana Carts: Improving Street Food Vending Across Africa

Written by Angus Marjoribanks

Musana Carts‘ founders, Nataliey Bitature and Manon Lavaud, are passionate social entrepreneurs who met and conceived of Musana concept whilst studying together in San Fransisco for a Masters in Social Entrepreneurship

Manon and Nataliey saw an opportunity where others see a challenge.

Kampala’s street vendors work in what is known as an Informal Economy. They are not officially registered and do not pay taxes. They are essentially illegal businesses. Approximately 2/3 of the workers in the world are employed in the informal sector, which represents a market of $10 trillion dollars worldwide.

In this sector, where government usually sees chaos and uncertainty, we see opportunity and entrepreneurial spirit. We believe in creating legitimate employment in these economies, and in so doing creating a more egalitarian world. Because it is in the informal economy where most individuals are currently able to earn money, to live and to prosper, it is our mission to help co-create that more egalitarian future with them.

Our solution is to offer street food vendors a framework within which to own and operate a safe, clean and professional business that earns them a sustainable income.

To do so, we have employed design thinking to produce a ‘business-in-a-box’ which prioritizes professionalism in food hygiene standards, customer service, customer satisfaction, and brand promotion.  We are the first company in East Africa to create a brand within street vending.  This is important because the primary concern the end consumers have revolved around accountability, and how they can trust a new street vendor to serve them safe and hygienic food.

We operate a franchise model that requires franchisees to pay low weekly fees for which they gain access to the Musana brand and all that represents.  We provide a high-tech vending cart which incorporates solar power and LPG cooking solutions. On top of this, we support our vendors with financial management tools, and access to cheaper raw material through our in-house distribution network, with which we gain another revenue stream.

To date, we have supported more than 10 vendors in and around Kampala, increasing their revenue by as much as 100%. Over 2018 and beyond we will continue to grow our customer base on our route to scale.

For more information, please check out the below links, or contact us through our website: https://www.musanacarts.com

 

About the author

Angus Marjoribanks

Product Manager at Musana Carts

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