Micro Distribution Centres

How Coca‑Cola is helping entrepreneurs in Africa to set up their own businesses

micro distribution centres

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.

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