Impact SA

Millions of African women benefit from Coca-Cola’s women empowerment programme


Cola-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA), Africa’s largest Coca-Cola bottling partner, has released audited results of the Coca-Cola system’s 5by20 women empowerment programme, which revealed that million women in Africa have been equipped through the initiative to succeed as entrepreneurs.

The 5by programme aimed to assist women entrepreneurs across the Coca-Cola value chain – including agricultural producers, suppliers, distributors, retailers, recyclers and artisans – to overcome challenges when establishing and growing their businesses.

The global goal to economically enable 5 million women by 2020 – hence 5by20 – was exceeded, with 6 million women around the world gaining access to business skills, financial services, assets and support networks of peers and mentors, giving them the confidence, skills and resources to thrive.

Collaboration in Africa

The Coca-Cola Company worked with bottling partners, civil society organisations, government stakeholders and other private sector actors across 33 countries in Africa to roll out locally relevant initiatives.

“CCBA made a significant contribution to the Coca-Cola system’s accomplishments. In total, in the markets where we operate, almost 1.3 million women were empowered since the inception of 5by20 and leading the way was Kenya (950,000), South Africa (106,762), Mozambique (57,957), Uganda (42,189), Tanzania (41,092) and Ethiopia (38,684),” said CCBA in a statement.

Commenting on the success of the 5by20 programme in Africa, CCBA’s head of public affairs communications and sustainability, Tshidi Ramogase said the company was committed to creating greater shared opportunity for the business and the communities it serves across the value chain.

“Opportunity is more than just money, it’s about a better future for people and their communities everywhere on the African continent,” said Ramogase.

Bizniz in a Box

In South Africa, the Bizniz in a Box programme created a network of women-run spazas, or convenience stores. These microbusinesses operate out of custom-designed modular containers, which the women own outright after meeting certain milestones such as the repayment of startup costs. As of 2020, Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa and its partners had helped more than 80 women own their shops and trained more than 700 entrepreneurs in total.

READ MORE: Transformation journey – Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa

Pillars of the community

“Women are the pillars of their communities, investing much of their income in the health and education of their children and local economies. By helping women to grow their businesses we are helping Africa to reach its full economic potential. We are passionate about ensuring that our continent thrives, as our business thrives, and we are not going to stop here,” said Ramogase.

“Women entrepreneurs continue to face major hurdles, and we know that our work must continue, particularly given the significant socio-economic disruption created by the Covid-19 pandemic in so many communities around the world.

“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. We are proud about the ripple effects that these programmes have had on the millions of lives we have touched and will continue to have over the years to come,” concluded Ramogase.

Source: BizCommunity


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