Wednesday
Aug 28
2013
August 28, 2013

A Refreshing Investment in Women Entrepreneurs

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The United Nation's Development Programme estimates that women do 66% of the world’s work, but only earn 10% of the world’s income. Coca-Cola is working to bridge this divide. Through its CGI Commitment to Action, Coca-Cola’s 5by20 initiative will economically empower five million women entrepreneurs by 2020 with access to critical business skills, financial services, and networking opportunities.

Earlier this month, President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton visited Johannesburg, South Africa, the site of much of this work. During their visit, they toured storefronts set up by the 5by20 business owners and participated in a roundtable discussion with several women entrepreneurs.

Coca-Cola’s investment in the economic growth of female business owners is generating positive returns for local communities as well as its global value chain. As women develop their business acumen, their enterprises grow and succeed, providing additional resources to hire new employees and invest in new opportunities for their family, their business, and their community. Their success also leads to greater efficiencies and innovation in Coca-Cola’s distribution networks, creating value for stakeholders along the way.

At the end of last year, approximately 300,000 women in 12 countries had been positively affected by the 5by20 initiative. One of the business owners, Bessie Mogale, shared her personal story, saying:

I did not go to school and learn business skills but I had passion and determination. I did not think I needed training because I was already running a business, but then, I went to a Coca-Cola 5by20 business skills training course and realized I had a lot to learn…

Then, Coca-Cola gave me a "container" (a stand-alone shop) with public phones, a cooler and 15 cases of Coca-Cola beverages to get me started. I researched what my customers would like to see in the shop and my business did well. I made more money and hired an employee.

My youngest son is still in school, and I am proud because the money I make in my shop means I can give him an education. I am proud to say we have food in the house because of my business.

From retailers to recyclers, producers to suppliers, women like Bessie play vital roles in Coca-Cola’s operations. With the skills and resources to expand their enterprises and increase their income, they’ll be empowered to become even greater stewards in the progress of the company, their communities, and their own future as successful entrepreneurs.

Read more about Coca-Cola’s 5by20 commitment at work in South Africa, including President Clinton's and Chelsea's recent visit.