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.
I attended one of the event of this project in November 2011, dubbed “Young Women in Enterprise” program which seeks to promote women empowerment in Kenya. Coca-Cola offered young women entrepreneurs an opportunity to raise seed capital and grow their business by availing beverage for sale and offering marketing support in their outlets.
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.
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 programs 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.