Entrepreneurial Women Empowered by Coke

Entrepreneurial Women Empowered by Coke


Coca-Cola’s programme to enable the economic empowerment of women entrepreneurs has benefitted over 4 600 South African women who run spaza shops.

Piloted in South Africa in 2011, the initiative, known as 5by20, hopes to enable the economic empowerment of five million women entrepreneurs across the group’s value chain by 2020.

The programme gives these women access to:

  • Business skills
  • Financial services
  • Assets
  • Support networks of peers and mentors.

It helps South African women and women globally to succeed as entrepreneurs, whilst also helping to create sustainable communities by creating employment opportunities.

Commenting on the local 5by20 plans, Therese Gearhart, Coca-Cola South Africa president said, “In South Africa, the company strives to empower 107 000 female-owned businesses through the programme by 2020.”

Peer interaction key to success

The SA programme began in 2010, with 40 female spaza shop owners, who increased their average revenues by up to 70% after training.

Some participants are now serving as consultants to other businesses, creating jobs for a further one to four people per site. Fifty percent of the female participants have acquired a second similar business located elsewhere.

Success leads to expansion

The good news is that 5by20 is on track to reach 300 000 women by the end of 2012. The expansion plans for 5by20 in South Africa and globally demonstrates the company’s continued commitment to testing, learning and scaling programmes to reach its ambitious women’s economic empowerment goal.

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