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Coca-Cola 5by20 initiative reaches more than 1.2m women entrepreneurs

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Staff writer ▼ | April 12, 2016
The Coca-Cola Company announced strong progress toward its goal to enable the economic empowerment of 5 million women entrepreneurs across the Coca-Cola value chain by 2020.
Across 60 countries   Great results for the 5by20 initiative
Year-end results for 2015 indicate that the initiative 5by20 has reached a total of more than 1.2 million women entrepreneurs across 60 countries since its launch in 2010.

More than 372,000 women entrepreneurs were enabled by 5by20 in 2015, increasing the total number of women participants by 43 percent over the course of the year. This growth can be attributed primarily to programs scaling and replicating in the Eurasia- Africa and Asia-Pacific regions.

“We believe thriving, sustainable communities are critical for a sustainable business and women are absolutely essential to our success,” said Bea Perez, chief sustainability officer of The Coca-Cola Company.

“We still have a significant amount of work to do, but I am proud of the progress we are making. It’s inspiring when I am able to meet the participants and see firsthand how 5by20 is transforming the lives of women, families and communities around the world.”

5by20 focuses on helping women entrepreneurs across the Coca-Cola value chain — agricultural producers, suppliers, distributors, retailers, recyclers and artisans — overcome challenges when establishing and growing their business.

By providing access to business skills, financial services, assets and support networks of peers and mentors, 5by20 is helping women succeed as entrepreneurs, while also helping create sustainable communities.

In 2013, Coca-Cola and Ipsos began conducting an impact study of 101 women entrepreneurs in Guateng and North West provinces near Johannesburg, South Africa.

These women retailers were part of a larger 5by20 business skills training program implemented in collaboration with partners UN Women and Hand in Hand Southern Africa.

Results collected over 18 months indicate that, on average, women entrepreneurs participating in the study saw increases in sales and personal income, which they were able to use for basic expenses for their families and to put into savings accounts.

Specific data points from the study include:

– Average business sales increased 44% and data indicates average personal income increased 23% over one year (July 2014-July 2015).

– More than half (54%) of participants reported their business improved ‘a lot’ as a result of the training. Of those women reporting their business improved ‘a lot’, more than half saw an increase in personal income.

– On average, since baseline, women showed an increased ability to afford basic expenses for themselves and their family, such as school expenses for children’s education, medical visits, and clothing.

– Approximately two-thirds participants reported they were able to put money in savings each month.

– More than 90% of women included in the study said they were confident they will keep their business open and will be able to grow.

Partnerships with organizations such as UN Women, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), International Finance Corporation (IFC) MercyCorps, TechnoServe, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Hand in Hand Southern Africa, and many regional and local partners around the world are critical to the success of The Coca-Cola Company’s 5by20 initiative.