Coca-Cola has facilitated 500 women from Nairobi’s slums to start small businesses, as part of its 5by20 global commitment to empower 5 million women entrepreneurs across the company’s value chain by 2020.
The firm has provided free business skills training and an ice-box to each of the women to set up Coca-Cola outlets. The women were drawn from various slums in Nairobi including Fuata Nyayo, Kawangware, Mukuru Kwa Njenga, Dandora and Mathare. It is part of the International Women’s Day celebrations.
Speaking during an event to hand over the ice-boxes to the women who had completed the business skills training, The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation president Dr. Susan Mboya-Kidero said: “Women, around the world, are already pillars of our business system. We are building on that foundation by implementing programs to help women entrepreneurs throughout the Coca-Cola value chain — from fruit farmers to artisans”.
“The theme for the International Women’s Day 2015 is ‘Make it happen’, which is in line with Coca-Cola aims to achieve through this initiative. We want to enable these women to overcome financial barriers to start their own business and earn a living for their families, thus making it happen for them and theirs,” she added.
The women who were received business skills training and ice-boxes are volunteers at Child Rock Initiative, an informal school for children from disadvantaged backgrounds in Mukuru Fuata Nyayo slums.
In the past, the 5by20 initiative has been involved in similar progams in various informal settlements within Nairobi in partnership with the Company’s local bottling partner, Nairobi Bottlers.
The 5by20 programme has achieved huge global success since 2010, when it was founded. The Eurasia Africa Group (EAG) has been at the forefront in driving this success, contributing over 70 per cent of the empowered women. Coca-Cola Central East and West Africa (CEWA), whose head office is in Nairobi, has contributed significantly to EAG results.
By end of 2014, the 5by20 programme had running programmes in 12 CEWA countries, with 79,930 women being empowered during the year.
Since its launch in 2010, Coca-Cola’s 5by20 initiative has implemented various programmes that address some of the challenges that women entrepreneurs face in the market. This includes training the women in business skills courses, financial managements and assets skills and also providing networking forums.