2017 Women Update: When More Women Work, Economies Grow

5by20™ enabled more than 660,000 women entrepreneurs in 2017 for a total of more than 2.4 million since 2010.

Overwhelming evidence indicates achieving equality and empowerment for women entrepreneurs has immediate impacts that benefit them directly as well as society and the economy. As pillars of communities, women invest a sizable portion of the income they earn on the health and education of their children and in their local economies, creating a tremendous economic impact.

Women around the world have long been critical contributors to Coca-Cola’s business system, and they often face significant barriers to realizing their own economic empowerment. To help women entrepreneurs overcome some of their most common challenges, in 2010 we introduced 5by20TM, an initiative designed to enable the economic empowerment of 5 million women by 2020.

In 2017, 5by20TM expanded by 37% in total, reaching over 660,000 women, and broadening into 11 new countries: Belgium, Bolivia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Israel, Lithuania, Paraguay, Portugal, Serbia, Ukraine and Uruguay. Since 2010, 5by20TM has reached more than 2.4 million women across 75 countries.

Global Program, Local Approach

While 5by20TM is a global initiative with a unified goal, it requires local considerations and executions. We aim to connect with women where they are, including online and offline, and create programs that uniquely address the barriers they face within local context and personal situation.

Connecting with women has required that we innovate and partner on solutions that respond to diverse challenges. We launched, for example, business skills training modules that are available through mobile and website applications to women, who for cultural, personal and business reasons, are unable to leave their homes to attend training.

As smartphone ownership rates in emerging and developing countries continued to rise at an extraordinary rate, we partnered with digital technology agency CI&T to develop the 5by20TM Training App as a scale-up solution for women entrepreneurs. The app provides access to educational courses, financial services, entrepreneurial training and mentorship connections.

The app first launched in 2017 during Ramadan in Malaysia, where it was piloted with women bazaar food stall operators. For Ramadan, Muslims in Malaysia fast from dawn until dusk for one month. At dusk, many go to bazaars where hundreds of food stalls offer many post-fast choices. The program engaged approximately 1,000 women operators nationwide. Due to the success of the pilot, the program will expand for Ramadan 2018 in Malaysia.

In India, Meetha Sona Unnati, a sustainable sugarcane production program, introduced by DCM Shriram, International Finance Corporation, Solidaridad and Coca-Cola, is helping women offline, in the field. The project focuses on building capacity of farmers on good agriculture practices toward improvement in yield and quality of cane produced.

While women form the backbone of sugarcane cultivation in India, they tend to be “the hidden farmers” with almost negligible access to land, resources, technologies, financial services, markets and even education and opportunity for skill enhancement. Meetha Sona Unnati is helping raise awareness among women to develop skills and capacities to contribute to domestic production and employment. By the end of 2017, Meetha Sona Unnati had reached nearly 11,000 women farmers as part of 5by20TM.

Educating Toward Entrepreneurship

In four states across northern Nigeria, more than 65% of the population is unable to read. Only one in four girls attend secondary school. That is why in 2013, The Coca-Cola Company and the UK Department for International Development joined forces to launch the Educating Nigerian Girls in New Enterprises (ENGINE) program. This partnership has worked vigorously with marginalized girls, age 16 to 19, to help improve their educational opportunities and translate them into real economic advantages and positive social choices.

The Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security recently studied the ENGINE program and found encouraging results. For example, as of March 2017, ENGINE had engaged more than 21,000 girls in Kano, Kaduna, the Federal Capital Territory and Lagos. According to the ENGINE Endline Report, 94% of participating girls display improved confidence; up to half of ENGINE beneficiaries have started a business or benefited from startup or expansion funds; and more than 10,000 girls were linked to employment, with 6,000 of these girls joining the Coca-Cola value chain through collaboration with Nigerian Bottling Company.

ENGINE program participant and mother, Elizabeth, said, “Everything is possible if you believe you can do it.”

As first appeared in https://www.coca-colacompany.com/stories/2017-5by20 , Aug 2018