(With Video) Mi Tienda’s Big Expansion to Supply Network of Mom & Pop Stores Across Mexico
There are more than 800,000 mom and pop grocery stores across Mexico, most of them in rural areas, according to World Bank data. Collectively, these small “tenditas” represent a massive economic opportunity, but individually they lack access to reliable supply chains and credit.
In 1999, social enterprise Mi Tienda was founded to serve these shop owners, many of whom are women, with durable goods as well as operational training and credit to expand. Mi Tienda Chairman Luis Velasco said the operation had been in pilot phase for about nine years. But today, the network of 6,000 shops is preparing to ambitiously expand to 20,000 in the next five years. In 2009, Mi Tienda received US$2 million loan from Opportunities for the Majority (OMJ), an Inter-American Development Bank initiative to help finance its expansion to 25 distribution cells. The company’s relatively short-term the goal is to reach 25,000 micro-entrepreneurs.
I caught up with Velasco at the OMJ’s Strategic Partners Dialogue earlier this month to find out more about Mi Tienda. (See additional posts on the event here). Excerpts of our discussion are in the video below. In addition to this interview, I’d encourage you to check out the case study, Mi Tienda: Establishing an Integrated Rural Supply Network in Mexico (PDF), which was prepared by OMJ and distributed during the forum.