‘5by20 is The Coca-Cola Company’s global commitment to enable the economic empowerment of 5
million women entrepreneurs across the company’s value chain by 2020. Specifically, that means the small businesses the company works with in over 200 countries around the world. From fruit farmers to artisans, this initiative aims to help women overcome the barriers they face to business success.’
We were shown first hand how much of an impact the 5by20 project is having on two women that we met whilst we were in Tanzania.
First up Lillian Kessey :
Lilian owns a distribution center in the Kinondoni District of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. She started her business when she was just 24. She started from scratch, and even sold some of her families land in order to be able to invest in this business. Unfortunately things changed when her husband left her and her daughter Angel, stealing all of the stock and cash from her business, which must have been devastating. So Lilian needed to start again, she was so determined, as she wanted to make a better life for her daughter. Lilian appealed to Coca-Cola South African Bottling Company (SABCO) for assistance to re- open her business. To help her get started, SABCO took the unusual step to allow her to sell product directly from their trucks. Soon she had grown her business so she was able to rent space again to distribute from.
In 2012, Coca-Cola invited Lilian to participate in 5by20. The 5by20 project was a game changer for her. She received training and mentoring that has helped her to run a more efficient business. She told us how grateful she has been for the training given to her that has enabled her business to make savings, and operate more efficiently. It has helped Lilian with record keeping, and skills when it comes to communicating with staff and customers.
Lilian’s business since she has become part of the 5by20 project has more than doubled in size. With 11 employees and a huge increase in customers and cases sold, she is one of the biggest distributors in her area. She has dreams though to copy this success in another area with a new distribution center, she really is building an empire!
Her driving force is that she wanted her daughter Angel to attend a good school. Angel now 12, is a top performing student in the private school. Lilian is also building a home for her family.
When asked about this she said “I am proud of my success. But I dream of growing my business bigger… It’s all for my daughter.”
We also met with the huge personality that is Mnazi Mmoja, at the market that she works at.
It was such a bustling place, with stalls that sell food and drink, with chairs and tables to sit at too.
Mnazi Mmoja said she was so grateful for the training and help that she has received from Coca-Cola and the 5by20 project. She told us that before this help, she had no stall, and was selling rice directly from a sack on the side of the road.
The 5by20 project empowers women. In order to qualify to be part of the 5 by 20 project, the women need to be part of the Coca-Cola ‘value chain’ which means that they have a role/business as a producer, supplier or distributor, retailer, recycler and artisan.
‘Women are pillars of the communities where we operate, they are critical to local and global business success and are an essential cornerstone for 2020 Vision, our long-term system-wide plan for growth and doubling the business. Studies show that women are much more likely to reinvest their income on food, education and healthcare for their children and their families.’
I love this project, and its one the resonates with the me greatly. As I have mentioned earlier, we had the pleasure of meeting a distributor and a retailer, whose lives have changed thanks to the 5by20 project but I was also really interested in the recycling and artisans involved in the value chain. I loved this example that we were gifted by the Coca-Cola company which had been made by artisans in western Turkey.
I wish the 5by20 project every success in their endeavour to change 5 million womens, and therefore families lives by 2020. Its an amazing project, and I feel, will make a real impact on the world.