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The Coca-Cola Company: 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 ShriramInternational Finance CorporationSolidaridad 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.”

In 2017 Coca-Cola and Ipsos, a leading global market research company, completed a longitudinal evaluation with women sari-sari store (mirco-retailers) owners in the Philippines who had completed Coca-Cola’s Sari-Sari Training and Access to Resources (STAR) program in partnership with government agency Technical Education and Skills Development Authority. A random sample of micro-retailer participants was interviewed every six months from 2015 through 2017. Key findings were positive and promising.

The STAR evaluation findings indicated that following participation in the program, participants’ average business increased by 17%; personal income from the sari-sari stores increased by 12%; women’s ability to afford basic expenses, such as groceries, clothing, doctor visits and children’s education, in general increased significantly over time; and women’s confidence in keeping their business open and increasing business size increased 20%.



Black Philanthropy Month (BPM) to Kick Off Its 10th Anniversary with 2021 Global Summit Series



Black Philanthropy Month (BPM) is set to mark its 10th anniversary with the BPM 2021 Global Summit Series, which kicks off August 3, 11:00 am to 3:00 pm EDT, in the U.S. with virtual events continuing in Africa, Brazil, Canada, the Caribbean, and worldwide. The series will culminate on August 31st with Reunity, an international Black women funders power and wellness summit in collaboration with the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University.

Featured speakers include Ford Foundation president Darren Walker; CNN political analyst and former member of South Carolina House of Representatives, Bakari Sellers; ABC News senior legal correspondent and co-host of The View, Sunny Hostin; Nobel Peace Laureate and founder of Gbowee Peace Foundation, the Honorable Leymah Gbowee; and faith leader and activist Reverend Naomi Tutu.  

Registration is open. Sign up and see the global keynote speaker line-up at

Dr. Jackie Bouvier Copeland, founder of BPM, Reunity, and Women Invested to Save Earth (WISE) Fund says, “Our 10th anniversary is a testament to the tenacity of Black people worldwide. Our resolve is strong to advance our culture of giving and promote fair access to private capital, including philanthropy and venture investment.  Economic justice is the last frontier in the Civil and Human Rights Movement.  We hope the U.S. and the entire world will join the celebration in August and press on to make equity real, starting by signing the  Black Philanthropy Month Global Black Funding Equity Pledge.”

With recognition at the outset from the United Nations as part of its Global Decade for People of African Descent and with proclamations from 30 governmental bodies, BPM has built momentum, having been celebrated by 18 million worldwide across 60 countries since 2011. Valaida Fullwood, creator of The Soul of Philanthropy and a BPM co-architect notes, “BPM has used the power of social media to celebrate the community giving that binds Black culture everywhere, while also calling on the ‘powers that be’ to institute principles and practices that accelerate funding equity.”

The BPM 10th anniversary continues its tradition of using high-impact technology to convene influential Black civic, business, and funding leaders with people from all walks of life to build community and practical action plans for funding equity and impact.  BPM co-architect, Tracey Webb, founder of the pioneering giving circle Black Benefactors, emphasizes that “BPM brings together Black and allied leaders of all backgrounds to remind the world that we too are philanthropists and that our giving traditions matter. We need funders from foundations and corporations to see and fund us too.”

BPM stands out for the diversity of Black people, worldwide, integral to its leadership and summit series. BPM Africa Chair Thelma Ekiyor, founder and chair of Afrigrants Foundation states, “Even though they manifest differently in the Motherland than in our Diaspora, anti-Black racism and neocolonialism on the continent still pose barriers to funding for effective recovery and development in our communities.  We are proud to join with our brothers, sisters, and allies worldwide to celebrate our collective potential and call for Black funding equity.  We are fortunate that the Nobel Peace Laureate, the Honorable Leymah Gbowee, is our BPM Africa keynote speaker to inspire a new vision for 21st century Black funding equity.”

Reunity – the only global Black women’s funders network that inspired BPM and organized its first summit—has played a critical role in advancing the global Black philanthropy movement.  Although not always acknowledged or written into the funding field’s history, Black women have been at the forefront of Black philanthropy as well as leading calls for racial and gender equity and intersectional funding.  Mojubaolu Okome, City University of New York professor and African diaspora giving scholar, asserts “From esusus to the new Black-led venture funds, people of African descent throughout the U.S. and world continue a rich tradition of finance innovation that benefits all of society.” Okome, an original Reunity leader, adds, “As Reunity marks its 20th year of Black women’s innovation for all, we hope the world will join us as we work to build better from the continuing devastation of the COVID era.”  

The Reverend Naomi Tutu, faith leader and activist, has long participated in the summits and will return in 2021 with a session on spiritual wellness for women leaders.  “When a crisis hits, women are often hit first and hardest, as we give everything we have to care for our families, communities, and the world.  Reunity is a time for us to be well, while doing good and to strengthen the global sisterhood as we work to advance humanity in this time of struggle and hope.”

Black Philanthropy Month (BPM) is supported by a growing list of sponsors and partners, including our Signature Charity Partner, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital; event talent partner, The b’elle group; Indiana University’s Women’s Philanthropy Institute at The Lilly School of Philanthropy; and global regional chairs, Foundation for Black Communities (Canada); Afrigrants Foundation (Africa); The Puerto Rico Community Foundation (Caribbean); and The Bãobá Fund (Brazil).  The full sponsor and partner roster list will be released in early July. Registration for the BPM 2021 Global Summit Series opens today!



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Corporate Citizenship

Nissan South Africa rolls out COVID-19 vaccines to its employees and service providers



Nissan South Africa employee (Image & release: Nissan South Africa)

Nissan South Africa (NSA), in its bid to help curb the spread of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in parts of the country, the automotive manufacturer will vaccinate its employees and service providers at its Rosslyn-based plant.

The free vaccination rollout plan is line with the South African Department of Health’s national programme, which aims to achieve population immunity by the end of 2021.

Nissan South Africa’s Country Director Kabelo Rabotho said the automotive manufacturer has always placed people first and continues to be committed to keeping their employees and families safer from the impact of the virus.

“I am pleased that our Nissan South Africa medical station has been registered as a COVID-19 vaccination site, allowing us to vaccinate employees and service providers on-site. Vaccination on-site will follow the same phases as the national government in terms of the age groups permitted to register and be vaccinated over a specific time period,” he said.

To ensure proper storage, handling and administration of approximately 5 000 COVID-19 vaccines, NSA has partnered with Dis-Chem through OHS Care to secure and store the vaccines for us and deliver the required quantities to our plant,” explains Shafick Solomons, NSA Plant Director and COVID-19 Task Team Chairperson.

Brenda Knoetze and mother (Image: Nissan South Africa)

In complying with the South African national vaccination rollout plan, NSA has also applied for access to register interested employees on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) for their convenience. This move will allow NSA to register as many employees as possible.

“Our medical team has been trained on how to use and administer the COVID-19 vaccine. In addition to the vaccination rollout, Nissan will continue to support employees with COVID-19 information awareness, providing basic hygiene tools such as face masks and personal hand sanitiser,” confirms Shafick.

“To date, all our COVID-19 countermeasures have been grounded on information from credible resources and partners. To this end, we stand with the Health Ministry in encouraging everyone to get vaccinated when the opportunity arises. Mass vaccination will ensure that we better manage the spread of the virus in our community and country,” concluded Kabelo.



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Kudoti, South African Recycling Platform recognised as one of the global winners of the Nestlé’s 2021 Creating Shared Value Prize



Kudoti Co-Founder, Matthieu de Gaudemar (Image: Medium)

Kudoti, South African recycling company, was announced in the top five winners of Nestlé 2021 Creating Shared Value (CSV) Prize, for their innovative recycling impact through technology.

The CSV Prize has been running for over 10 years and has identified multiple initiatives for some of today’s most critical environmental and social issues around the world. This year’s competition, conducted in partnership with the non-profit organization, Ashoka, was entitled ‘How do we create a waste-free future?’,  It aimed to identify and award innovative solutions with a system-change approach and a strong growth potential, or a replicable model for other social, cultural or geographical settings.

Kudoti (meaning trash in Zulu) is changing business perspectives of waste into recovered materials through supply chain solutions.  The company’s digital approach helps track recyclable waste in real-time and matching it to demand. The use of technology improves market conditions for waste materials, which drives up recycling behaviour.

Matthieu de Gaudemar, one of the founders of Johannesburg-based Kudoti, expressed gratitude to Nestlé and Ashoka for this CSV initiative. “Businesses and individuals have a concept of waste as waste, when we should have a concept of waste as a resource.  With new business models, we can change the way that waste is viewed.”

De Gaudemar adds that their platform’s success was collective team effort. “It truly takes everyone to address systemic environmental issues. Through this financial investment and technical resources, we will amplify our impact by scaling up our solution in South Africa.”

“When people speak of the future, a world of hover crafts or holograSaint-Francis Tohlangms may come to mind. But at Nestlé, we are seeking a more environmentally futuristic landscape. Through these  Awards, we are on a mission to identify and empower market disruptors in the hope of accelerating a waste-free future”, says Saint-Francis Tohlang, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Director at Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR).

As one of the winners, Kudoti will receive a cash prize of $40 000 and will benefit from Ashoka’s online resources and workshops to explore potential collaboration with Nestlé and a mentoring programme.

“Innovations such as Kudoti not only help reduce waste but also drive consumer behaviour change which is key to achieving a waste free future and takes us closer to a circular economy”, concluded Tohlang.

By Weber Shandwick



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