ACB – Associação Comercial da Beira (Beira Commercial Association)
Innovative Business Association
Commercial Associations are normally not the point of origin for an innovative start-up environment. Why should it be this one?
Let´s start with the basic facts:
ACB – The Beira Commercial Association is a non-profit business representation organisation whose main objective is to represent and help entrepreneurs in the Sofala province by offering training services, employment agency, technical business lectures, group consultancy and organization of business travels. The Association now has more than 800 member companies. It is run by a board of directors formed by renowned entrepreneurs.
So far that’s how almost every Commercial Association in every country on the world works. What is the innovative thing on this Organisation?
It is their practical and contemporary approach to connect entrepreneurs with each other. Instead of just gather them around in physical events to exchange ideas and making deals, ACB is going further and is using Social Media to start the flow of information. With WhatsApp-Groups ACB ensures a Business-to-Business exchange in an easy and contemporary way. There are Groups bound to specific business areas and there are geographically oriented Groups. For example there is a group for all entrepreneurs having a restaurant in the district in Beira and additionally there is a group for entrepreneurs of all professions in Beira. The second group offers connections beyond the own business area.
Apart from this ACB is taking great care about young entrepreneurs entering the business phase. They help them to get their first investment money, what can be sometimes exceptionally tricky in Mozambique for newbie entrepreneurs.
ACB is also playing a strong role in the addressing the issue that a lot of people in Mozambique working in the informal sector. They have a project to support informal sector associations with specific skills in the promotion of associative culture, acting to create a favourable environment for entrepreneurial activities.
It contributed in the approximation of the government institutions with the associations of the informal sector through the channels and spaces of dialogue created for the improvement of the entrepreneurial and business environment.