In a bid to encourage and foster the capacitation of local products into retail stores, The Local Slice BW has launched the ‘Reka Local’ shelf campaign in partnership with Health Generation. The aim of the shelves is to improve local products’ competitiveness, as well as to ease their accessibility and visibility in grocery and retail stores across Botswana
With the slogan ‘Try Me, I’m Local’, the shelves form part of the company’s advocacy role to assist local entrepreneurs to be part of the retail value chain. “We realised that there is a gap in the accessibility of local products at the stores we normally buy from. We wanted to introduce a tangible campaign that would demonstrate that in actual fact Batswana do support and purchase these products, and, it would be more measurable. Most retail stores state that they do not have shelf space for small and medium enterprises’ products, so we have decided to create that space through these shelves,” explains co-facilitator of the project, Taelo Maphanyane.
The shelf currently has local products such as Maungo Craft gourmet jams and sauces, True Afribites products, Grand Salts and Kalahari Honey, stationed at the Health Generation store in Airport Junction Mall. “We want to see the shelves in every retail store across the country, as this will urge retailers to prioritize local, especially in these difficult times that have seen the economy dwindling. Small businesses have suffered adversely from covid-19 and this is an attempt to revive their income streams as well,” adds Maphanyane.
This project intends to encourage Batswana to put their money behind local products as this fosters the growth and scaling of the enterprises, and further ensures that their quality and branding are globally competitive. “We want to foster a mandate that nurtures a vibrant entrepreneurial culture in Botswana, and we believe this is achievable mostly through collaboration,” says Maphanyane. She highlights that any corporates or entities who want to be part of this project, can reach out to them. “We are open to more collaborations that will see this project become a success and a positive impact in our communities.”
The Local Slice BW has also launched a quarterly newsletter called ‘BW Consumer Trends’ which dissects Batswana consumer trends and industry shifts. The newsletter is currently available on online bookstore, BW Made. The social enterprise has been at the forefront of the promotion of local products, services and innovations for three years.