Monday 12th January 2015, Colombo: The Coca-Cola Company’s 5by20 programme was named Best Global Initiative for Women’s Economic Empowerment at the Women in Leadership Economic Forum in Dubai.
Susan Mboya, President of The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation, and Antoine Tayyar, Director of Public Affairs and Communications for Coca-Cola Middle East, accepted the award on behalf of the company.
5by20 is The Coca-Cola Company's commitment to enable the economic empowerment of 5 million women entrepreneurs across its global value chain by 2020. The initiative addresses common barriers women face in the marketplace by providing access to business skills training, financial services and mentoring and networking opportunities.
Coca-Cola collaborates with the government, civil society and other businesses to customize 5by20 programmes to address the needs of female entrepreneurs in specific countries. Key partners include UN Women, IFC, TechnoServe, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, IDB and Mercy Corps, among many other NGOs.
"By the end of 2013, more than 550,000 women were impacted in total through the initiative in a total of 44 countries," Mboya said. "In the years ahead, we expect to reach every region of the globe as 5by20 grows exponentially."
Tayyar added, "Women form the backbone of families and communities in the developing world, and a growing body of evidence demonstrates that investments in women's business success can have significant positive impact on local economies and communities."
Coca-Cola was also recognized with the 2013 Catalyst award for its efforts to expand opportunities for women in business, and the 2014 Women's Empowerment Principles Leadership Award for driving and advancing a partnership initiative of UN Women and the UN Global Compact.
Coca-Cola Sri Lanka began the 5BY20 Program in 2012. 5BY20 has impacted the lives of thousands of women across the country and reaffirms Coca-Cola’s commitment to inclusive growth and development in Sri Lanka.
In Sri Lanka, the 5by20 initiative is conducted in partnership with Women In Management (WIM) and the Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Affairs in the form of training programmes. The Retailer training program is Coca-Cola’s larger initiative of imparting business skills training to retailers employed in traditional trade (kirana or mom & pop retail outlets) and is being run successfully in some countries of South Asia.
The 5by20 programme is customized to suit the training needs of different women and serves a larger societal need by empowering women and promoting inclusivity. By providing access to business skills, financial services, assets and a support network of peers and mentors, 5by20 helps women achieve their entrepreneurial and personal dreams, whilst simultaneously creating thriving and sustainable communities. 5BY20 is conducted island-wide in Trincomalee, Panama, Anuradhapura, Mullaitivu, Polonnaruwa, Batticaloa, Negombo, Kilinochchi and Colombo.