Home Business Coca-Cola’s 5by20 Initiative reaches over 1.2 million entrepreneurs in 60 countries

Coca-Cola’s 5by20 Initiative reaches over 1.2 million entrepreneurs in 60 countries

By Alex Chiejina
LAGOS (Sundiata Post) – Over 1.2 million women entrepreneurs across 60 countries have been reached through the 5by20 initiative by Coca-Cola Company, an initiative aimed at enable the economic empowerment of million of women entrepreneurs by 2020.
Sundiata Post gathered that more than 372,000 women entrepreneurs were enabled by 5by20 in 2015, increasing the total number of women participants by 43 percent over the course of the year. This growth can be attributed primarily to programs scaling and replicating in the Eurasia- Africa and Asia-Pacific regions.
“We believe thriving, sustainable communities are critical for a sustainable business and women are absolutely essential to our success,” said Bea Perez, Chief Sustainability Officer of The Coca-Cola Company. “We still have a significant amount of work to do, but I am proud of the progress we are making. It’s inspiring when I am able to meet the participants and see firsthand how 5by20 is transforming the lives of women, families and communities around the world.”
5by20 focuses on helping women entrepreneurs across the Coca-Cola value chain — agricultural producers, suppliers, distributors, retailers, recyclers and artisans — overcome challenges when establishing and growing their business. By providing access to business skills, financial services, assets and support networks of peers and mentors, 5by20 is helping women succeed as entrepreneurs, while also helping create sustainable communities.
In 2013, Coca-Cola and Ipsos, a market research company, began conducting an impact study of 101 women entrepreneurs in Guateng and North West provinces near Johannesburg, South Africa. These women retailers were part of a larger 5by20 business skills training program implemented in collaboration with partners UN Women and Hand in Hand Southern Africa.
Results collected over 18 months indicate that, on average, women entrepreneurs participating in the study saw increases in sales and personal income, which they were able to use for basic expenses for their families and to put into savings accounts.
“Specific data points from the study include average business sales increased 44% and data indicates average personal income increased 23% over one year (July 2014-July 2015). More than half (54%) of participants reported their business improved ‘a lot’ as a result of the training.  Of those women reporting their business improved ‘a lot’, more than half saw an increase in personal income.
“On average, since baseline, women showed an increased ability to afford basic expenses for themselves and their family, such as school expenses for children’s education, medical visits, and clothing. Approximately two-thirds participants reported they were able to put money in savings each month. More than 90% of women included in the study said they were confident they will keep their business open and will be able to grow,” facts from the report reveal.
“These data points indicate that women participating in our 5by20 initiative are achieving sustainable progress in being economically empowered,” said Therese Gearhart, president of Coca-Cola Southern Africa. “An educated, successful and empowered woman creates a ripple effect throughout her community when she can afford her children’s education, provide basic medical needs for her family and help support and mentor other women entrepreneurs. The entire community benefits.”
Partnerships with organizations such as UN Women, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), International Finance Corporation (IFC) MercyCorps, TechnoServe, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Hand in Hand Southern Africa, and many regional and local partners around the world were critical to the success of The Coca-Cola Company’s 5by20 initiative.
Coca-Cola recently committed to collaborate with IDB, UN Women, UN Global Compact and others to develop a new diagnostic tool to help companies achieve equality between men and women in the workplace, marketplace and community. This new tool will help companies assess performance against the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs), identify strengths, gaps, and opportunities, benchmark progress against peers, laws and industry standards, highlight good practices and set concrete targets and performance indicators
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