1,500 Liberian Women to Benefit from The Coca-Cola Company’s 5by20 Empowerment Program
MONROVIA, Aug. 26 2013 – During a visit to Liberia today, Muhtar Kent, the Chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, visited with Liberian women entrepreneurs who are beneficiaries of the Company’s 5by20 program.
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. By the end of 2014, 1,500 women in Liberia will receive financial skills training, mentorship opportunities and a retail starter kit for small business including a cooler, cases of Coca-Cola products and a market umbrella.
“Liberia’s growth in the last 10 years is one of the success stories of this great continent,” Kent said. “Investing in women’s entrepreneurship is the surest way to guarantee that growth continues.”
To date, The Coca-Cola Company has already supported over 150 women in Liberia and more than 300,000 around the world, collaborating with governments, civil society and other businesses to bring women entrepreneurs into the Company’s value chain and create opportunity for sustainable prosperity.
“I now have a sustainable business selling Coca-Cola and other food products like bread. I can now provide my children with an education and a real future,” said Sianneh Kamara, who runs a retail stand in Duala. “I hope to expand my business and hire other women in my community,” she concluded.
Coca-Cola has been a fixture in Liberia since 1949 and, with its bottling partner Equatorial Coca-Cola Bottling Company, today employs 189 Liberians and serves more than 6,000 retail outlets.
Alfonso Libano, Chairman of Equatorial Coca-Cola Bottling Company, noted, “Job creation and meaningful employment are vital to Liberia’s continued growth and for every one of our associates there are another six Liberians whose livelihood is supported by our value chain”.
The Coca-Cola system has invested more than US $10 million in Liberia in the last five years.