Micro Distribution Centres
How Coca‑Cola is helping entrepreneurs in Africa to set up their own businesses
Enjoying a chilled bottle of Coca-Cola used to be nearly impossible in Ethiopia. Narrow roads meant the big delivery trucks couldn't reach the tiny local shops, and a lack of storage facilities meant these shops couldn't stock large amounts of Coca-Cola drinks.
In 1999, our local Ethiopian bottler hit upon a solution: Micro Distribution Centres (MDCs). By establishing local Coca-Cola depots, shops can order small amounts of Coca-Cola to sell and drive revenue from sales to provide a valuable boost to the economy.
Ownership of these MDCs is offered to local entrepreneurs, meaning members of the communities in which we operate make a good living and are in turn able to re-invest in the community, while enjoying an improved quality of life, better housing and education.
MDCs in action
Encouraging entrepreneurship in Africa
The Micro Distribution Centres - also known as Manual Distribution Centres - are fully owned by local entrepreneurs in Africa. They are not run or managed by Coca-Cola, but rather the MDCs own the franchise and work with our bottlers, distributing Coca-Cola products in hard-to-reach areas.
MDCs at a glance
- There are over 3,000 MDCs in East Africa, employing around 13,500 people
- MDC owners and employees support an estimated 48,000 dependents
- The African MDCs generate over $500 million in annual revenue
- Over 80% of Coca-Cola's business in key East African countries goes through the MDC network
Once an MDC is up and running, owners can typically earn monthly revenues of $20-30,000 depending on the nature of the area they cover and the time of year, and each MDC provides income for between 5-7 employees.
Women entrepreneurs and MDCs
More than 30% of MDCs in Africa are currently owned and managed by women. Watch the video of two such women managing successful MDCs in Tanzania today.