This International Women’s Month, The Coca-Cola Company and its partners celebrated as it surpassed its 5by20 goal by enabling the economic empowerment of more than 6 million women around the world.
34% (just over 2 million) of those women enabled by the 5by20 program live and do business in Africa. The Coca-Cola Company executed 5by20, a global initiative implemented across 33 countries in Africa where locally relevant initiatives were rolled out.
The 5by20 goal was ambitious and over the last 10 years, Coca-Cola has worked with countless partners including its bottling partners, civil society organizations, government stakeholders, other private sector actors, and generous financial grants from The Coca-Cola Foundation to recipients within its Women’s Entrepreneur Empowerment priority giving tier.
In Kenya, a partnership with the Women Enterprise Fund (WEF) established in 2014 and rooted in a shared interest in creating a fair equitable environment to help women overcome barriers and build sustainable businesses, aimed to empower 1 million women through entrepreneurship training and access to capital investment.
“Today, we celebrate surpassing our goal to reach 5 million women, but we know that there is still work to be done.” Said Patricia Obozuwa, Vice-President: Public Affairs, Communication, and Sustainability Coca-Cola Africa.
Patricia noted that Women entrepreneurs continue to face major hurdles hindering their successes, and Coca-Cola acknowledges that their work must therefore continue, particularly given the significant socio-economic disruption created by the p******c in so many communities around the world.
5by20 aimed to assist women entrepreneurs across the Coca-Cola value chain – helping agricultural producers, suppliers, distributors, retailers, recyclers, and artisans overcome challenges when establishing and growing their businesses.
By providing access to business skills, financial services, assets, and support networks of peers and mentors, women entrepreneurs are enabled to overcome social and economic barriers and succeed as entrepreneurs, while also helping create sustainable communities.
According to Coca-Cola, the Foundation has funded some of the 5by20 initiatives, and the Coca-Cola system has worked with several partners to implement over 300 programs in 100 countries.
This has helped provide women entrepreneurs with business skills training, mentoring networks, financial services, and other assets to help enhance their businesses and lives as well as provide more for their families.
“By investing in women’s economic empowerment over the past decade, we have created shared value in hopes of a better-shared future enabling improved livelihoods for women, their families, and their communities, while inclusively expanding our business,” says Obozuwa.
Coca-Cola says they are proud of the ripple effects that these programs have had on the millions of lives they have touched and will continue to have over the years to come.
In 2012, The Coca-Cola Company signed a global agreement with UN Women to enable the economic empowerment of women entrepreneurs in three pilot countries, which included South Africa.
At the end of the four-year partnership in South Africa in December 2016, over 25,000 women micro-entrepreneurs had received business skills, leadership training, mentoring and peer networking skills, and access to finance.
According to a report by Harvard Kennedy School Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative, through this program, the entrepreneurs increased their revenues by 40% on average and increased their confidence and leadership abilities within their communities.
In Nigeria, in partnership with the UK Department for International Development Girls E*******n, Coca-Cola launched the Educating Nigerian Girls in Nigeria Enterprise (ENGINE) value program, which aimed to strengthen the educational and economic opportunities of the Nigerian girl-child.
Nearly 13,000 young girls and women benefitted from this program.