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Coca-Cola expands 5by20 women economic empowerment initiative

DBR Staff Writer Published 27 November 2012

The Coca-Cola Company said that its women’s economic empowerment initiative - 5by20 - is on course to reach 300,000 women by the end of this year.

The initiative was launched with an aim to enable the economic empowerment of five million women entrepreneurs across the Coca-Cola value chain by 2020.

Initially focused on four pilot countries - Brazil, India, South Africa and the Philippines, 5by20 is now expanded to include China, Costa Rica, Egypt, Haiti, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria and Thailand.

Coca-Cola has partnered with All China Women's Federation to provide business skills to female retailers in China.

The beverage giant has collaborated with TechnoServe in Kenya to impart business skills training and retail assets to young women entrepreneurs.

Similarly, in Mexico, young women are receiving business skills training and being trained for their first job.

Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent said that working with women is a significant way to drive sustainable economic growth and development.

Coca-Cola is in $4m collaboration with UN Women to empower 40,000 women in South Africa, Brazil and Egypt over the next three years.

UN Women and Coca-Cola are also providing retailers with business skills training, mentoring and guidance on networking with peers in South Africa.

In Brazil, the partnership is focused on reaching women recyclers, artisans and community leaders across Coca-Cola's value chain to provide business and leadership skills development and training.

In Egypt, both the organizations are offering retail kiosks, business skills training and access to mentors to women entrepreneurs.

UN Women executive director Michelle Bachelet said: "Countless studies point to the fact that companies with a higher share of women have improved results -- higher levels of innovation, productivity and profit margins."

Coca-Cola women's economic empowerment global director Charlotte Oades said: "We believe providing access to training, finance and support networks are the best ways to help women overcome barriers, unlock their untapped potential and build their business in a sustainable way."

In June 2012, The Coca-Cola Foundation has announced a $3m grant to Pact, a non-governmental organization in Myanmar, to support women's economic empowerment and job creation initiatives throughout the country through a program called WORTH.

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