"We aim to create a virtuous cycle of sustainable growth that's good for people, planet and business."

Vera Markl-Moser
CD Sustainability Director


By building powerful connections with millions of small business owners and micro-entrepreneurs, we’re helping them boost their skills and incomes while driving our own growth.

There are around 3 billion rural consumers in emerging markets – such as Asia, Africa and Latin America – where we generate 58% of our turnover. Connecting with these consumers is essential to our success. Millions of men and women in our distribution network already earn some or all of their income by connecting us to our consumers. They include the ‘small-scale retailers’ who run independent stores, outlets and kiosks, or set up as micro-entrepreneurs making sales in the streets or house-to-house. They make a crucial contribution to their local communities, especially in developing markets. And because they bring our products to millions of consumers every day, their success is directly linked with our own. Developing innovative and holistic distribution models is an enormous opportunity for growth, at the same time as making a real difference to people’s lives by addressing these issues and contributing to a number of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including No Poverty (SDG 1), Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8), and Reduced Inequality (SDG 10).

So far, we have enabled more than 1.7 million small-scale retailers in our distribution network to access our Perfect Store initiative, as well as other programmes such as the Shakti initiative and Kabisig Summits. These are designed to help small retailers improve their sales while helping us ensure that our brands are available in hard-to-reach locations, better displayed, and priced at the recommended retail price and marketed optimally. They include training in business practices and, through our brands, can help promote better health and sanitation for store owners and their families, as well as for their customers.

Learn more about our strategy, our programs and the progress we make on https://www.unilever.com/sustainable-living/enhancing-livelihoods/inclusive-business/empowering-small-scale-retailers-for-growth/

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