In response to UN Women’s Strategic Plan and The Coca-Cola Company’s global 5 BY 20 Initiative , the Coca-Cola Company and UN Women announced a partnership to support and aid economic empowerment of women. The partnership will help promote women entrepreneurs, by making use of the resources from both the organizations.
The aim of the Coca-Cola Company’s 5 BY 20 initiative is to economically empower 5 million women entrepreneurs across the Coca-Cola value chain by 2020. The Coca Cola Company is already working to create special program to help and support women entrepreneurs in the small businesses that are associated with The Coca-Cola System. Some of these small businesses include those of fruit farmers, shopkeepers, recycling collectors and artisans.
“We believe there is no better time to invest in women as engines of economic growth and sustainable development. Women are the fastest-growing economic force and no business or economy will be able to grow without them. This partnership with UN Women, which leverages their extensive expertise, will greatly impact our efforts to enable the empowerment of women around the world,” said Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company.
In addition to the initiative introduced by Coca Cola, UN Women’s Strategic Plan aims to help empower women by supporting and promoting laws and policies that provide women protection and equal rights. The plan also aims to increase employment by providing income-generating opportunities and access to economic resources. UN Women is also encouraging companies to sign the Women’s Empowerment Principle – Equality Means Business. This plan includes some important measures to ensure empowerment of women in workplace and marketplace.
According to Michelle Bachelet, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, “Now more than ever, the world needs to unleash women’s talent and energy if we are to make our economies and societies stronger. Companies like The Coca-Cola Company are realizing that investing in women is an essential ingredient in the formula for success. We can no longer afford to waste the potential of half the world’s population. It is both a matter of justice as well as good business and economic sense.”
With the help of this partnership, The Coca-Cola Company and UN Women plan to support women entrepreneurs by helping them receive training in specific business skills and financial services. It will also help them connect to their peers and mentors, through a support network. Efforts are already in progress to identify programs that may prove to be beneficial in future; one such program is the business skills training programs for women-owned recycling cooperatives and women-run shops.
Along with announcing this collaboration, Mr. Kent also signed a CEO Statement of Support for the Women’s Empowerment Principles, which has been developed by UN Women and the UN Global Compact. This would promote corporate leadership for gender equality in the workplace, marketplace and community.