On Oct. 17, 2016, International Day for the Eradication of Poverty—or World Poverty Day—will raise awareness of the need to lift almost 850 million people worldwide, including many women, out of extreme poverty. While this represents a remarkable cut by half of extreme poverty rates since 1990, one in five people in developing regions still live on less than $1.25 a day, the majority of them in southern Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

To help alleviate poverty and strengthen communities, a unique partnership between UN Women and Coca-Cola is providing business skills training, mentorship and, ultimately, hope for women entrepreneurs. The programs align with UN Women’s global strategic priority area of women economic empowerment and are part of Coca-Cola’s global 5by20 initiative, which aims to empower 5 million women entrepreneurs by 2020. The programs offer a “hand up” rather than a “handout,” enabling women participants to strengthen their businesses and opportunities for their families.

Leading up to World Poverty Day, Coca-Cola and UN Women are traveling with four U.S.-based journalists—Tula Karras, Adrian Granzella Larssen, Susan McPherson and Purvi Thacker—to South Africa to meet 5by20 participants and learn how the programs have empowered their businesses, and more importantly, their overall lives. The journalists cover news for a variety of news outlets including Good Housekeeping, The Daily Muse, Forbes, Harvard Business Review, BuzzFeed, Vice and others.

Stay tuned to read personal stories about how UN Women and Coca-Cola’s programs are making a positive difference. Read about Coca-Cola’s 5by20 program and results from South Africa.

Meet the Journalists

Tula Karras
Home base: Austin
PublicationsGood Housekeeping, Glamour, Parenting Magazine, Conde Nast Publications, Seventeen Magazine, Prevention

Adrian Granzella Larssen
Home base: New York
PublicationsThe Daily Muse, Forbes, Mashable, Business Insider, Real Simple

Susan McPherson
Home base: New York
PublicationsForbes, Harvard Business Review, Triple Pundit

Purvi Thacker
Home base: New York
Publications: The New York Times, The Guardian, Al Jazeera English, Vice News, BuzzFeed News, Quartz, Al Jazeera America, The Express Tribune, and India Abroad