”LET US SALUTE SMALL & MICRO BUSINESSES” By Miriam Mukasa

Many of us rely on micro businesses in our daily lives. Whether it is your "My Guy", your "Mama Mboga" whether it is...


Photo Credit: https://backpackerlee.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/ghanafood.jpg?w=1200
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Many of us rely on micro businesses in our daily lives. Whether it is your “My Guy”, your “Mama Mboga” whether it is to buy your sukuma weeki, a phone  or airtime, mitumba and more, many of us would not be able to properly function without the men & women who tirelessly provide us with goods and services, each day. Come rain or shine, they are out there. But do we take them for granted? Do we really appreciate them and how they impact our lives or, are we too busy to notice?

When was the last time you gave your mama mboga extra business? This need not be by spending extra money. Instead, my question is, when was the last time you promoted your favourite mama mboga or mzee kibanda on Facebook? When was the last time you encouraged your friends to buy from him/her? We only see you promoting these nice restaurants and venues on social media but when was the last time you posted a photo of a product you bought from mama mboga which you were happy with or, directed people to your “My Guy”?  Was it yesterday that you asked for a ridiculous discount from Mama Mboga for the 3 bananas you wanted (then walked away without buying), but had no problem spending ksh 1,000 to attend a social event?  How about your friends who are struggling as they run their business? When was the last time you promoted your friend’s  photocopy business or cyber cafe? One thing we learn from studying successful people is that they always promote each other. They know that their friend’s success need not mean, less business for them; in actual fact, often this is the opposite. 

We are currently living in uncertain times, small businesses are suffering. So rather than fighting one another on social media, let us take a moment and turn this energy and access to the internet, in to supporting the men & women (many of them including our family members), who are struggling to make ends meet. 

Small businesses are the lifeblood of any economy. When we look at the economies of the USA, UK or Europe,  all are and were built by the sweat and hard work of small businesses – what they call your “mom & pop” stores. When a USA tech startup called Bodega recently announced that it hoped to replace mom-and-pop shops with unmanned boxes of food, drinks & toiletries (that rely on an app and artificial intelligence), they faced huge backlash from supporters of US small business owners and even skeptics across Silicon Valley. Let us learn and see how people in other countries stand up for their SMEs. Let us do the same. So, today we are pleased to share with you, details of an app that we have created – an app that we all can use to promote our favourite SME. It is called MastaMap and is available FREE from Google Play. See how it works below.

WHAT IS MASTAMAP? –  An app that enables everyone, no matter where they are in the world to Create and Share locations. Many micro businesses are not on Google Maps. Many of us struggle to locate them (since some move from location to location for various reasons). So how can we direct our friends to find them? By creating location codes on MastaMap and sharing these as links with friends or if you are an SME, with your customers. People who receive the web link don;t have to download MastaMap. The link is accessible via the internet. So, SMEs can also use it to share their locations with customers, friends can use it to promote or share SME locations. So, whether you are a customer or street vendor, small shop/kiosk, whether sell your arts on the beach, fix radios in a hut, cut hair under a mango tree, create your location on MastaMap then share & direct customers to you. 

HOW MASTAMAP WORKS 
1. Sign Up or Login
2. Click the + button (ensure GPS is enabled on yr phone]
3. Name your location
4. Add any descriptions you wish eg. Cheapest and most reliable phone shop, best restaurant with naturally cooked food, best nyama choma in town, trendiest fashion shop in the city centre, most stylish saloonist I have seen around etc.
5. Share location(s) or, Save to your Location Folder.
Download MastaMap today & promote small businessesClick HERE

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