Coca-Cola Invests In Women To Spur Sustainable Economic Growth

The Coca-Cola Company’s 5by20 programme, announced in 2010, is part of the company’s global sustainability initiatives to economically empower five million women entrepreneurs across the company’s value chain by 2020.

By providing access to business skills, financial services, assets and support networks of peers and mentors, 5by20 is helping women to be successful entrepreneurs by removing the barriers they face, while creating thriving sustainable communities.

“Working with and investing in women is one of the most powerful ways to spur sustainable economic growth and development,” said Muhtar Kent, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Coca-Cola Company.

Initially focused on four pilot countries – Brazil, India, South Africa and Philippines – the programme has currently been extended to 10 countries: China, Costa Rica, Egypt, Ethiopia, Haiti, Kenya, Liberia, Mexico, Nigeria and Thailand, with over 300,000 women reached by the end of 2012.

A statement issued by the Coca-Cola Company in Ghana to mark this year’s International Women’s Day on March 8 said the 5by20 programme began in Ghana in the fourth quarter of 2013, with financial skills training for Coca-Cola’s female retailers. Currently, over 300 retailers in Accra and Kumasi have undergone a two-day training programme to equip them with better bookkeeping skills to strengthen their businesses and help them prevent losses.

The programme is scheduled to be extended to northern Ghana from March 2014 to provide up to 1,000 women in the three regions of the north with access to business skills, financial services, assets and support networks of peers and mentors.

Some of the women will be provided with support and equipment to set up small-scale Coca-Cola retail businesses; others with access to financial resources to start/improve/expand their commercial activities such as shea butter production, ice-block making, catering, dressmaking and hairdressing.

Coca-Cola also plans to scale up the programme nationwide by 2020. The company said the expansion of 5by20 to other countries demonstrates its continued commitment to testing, learning and scaling up programmes in order to reach its ambitious women’s economic empowerment goal.