Coca-Cola’s 5by20 Initiative reaches more than 100k women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh

The partnership with United Purpose reflects its broader commitment to drive country’s women empowerment vision forward

Coca-Cola, in partnership with United Purpose has announced the milestone of empowering 100,000 women entrepreneurs in the country. This program supports one of the key goals of the Government’s Eighth Five Year Plan, which is focused on Women Empowerment.  Women in Bangladesh are now more empowered than at any time before.

Coca-Cola, with the collaboration of its partners, has empowered more than 6 million women around the world under its global initiative 5by20 (empowering five million women around the world by 2020). Earlier in 2015, Coca-Cola Bangladesh launched the unique Women Business Centers (WBC) model, under the 5by20 program. This project supports rural Bangladeshi women entrepreneurs by providing financial and business skills training, market information, agriculture training, mobile banking assistance, healthcare counselling, mentoring and networking opportunities to them. These women-run facilities are developed to address daily obstacles that women entrepreneurs face and provide necessary solutions to them. Currently, more than 70 women business centres and 200 sub-centres are operating at the country’s Jamalpur, Khulna, and Bagerhat district.

Coca-Cola has achieved the milestone of empowering over 100,000 Bangladeshi women from Jamalpur, Khulna, and Bagerhat districts in the country’s Northwest and Southwest by 2020.

Pronoy Kanti Das, District Civil Surgeon  of Jamalpur, said, “We are thankful to both Coca-Cola Bangladesh and United Purpose’s colossal efforts for empowering women. The WBC project has not only empowered marginalized women but has also benefited their family members. We express our humble gratitude for their initiative.”

This WBC project has directly contributed to the wellbeing and resilience of 1 lac women, including indirectly benefiting four lac people via economic empowerment. During its inception, women’s net capital was worth of BDT 50 thousand which has now stood at BDT 130,000 in 2021. According to a survey conducted targeting almost 500 beneficiaries from 30 WBCs, 60% women said they would not have been able to access IT without the centers. 100% of women have made use of the health services. 70% of women have purchased agricultural inputs and 43% sold products through their center. 100% of women reported a positive shift in how they are treated as women. 70% of entrepreneurs reported joint decision-making responsibility within the household, with the remaining 30% reporting sole decision-making responsibility.

90% of the entrepreneurs have complete control over the money that they earn. 100% of entrepreneurs and community members stated that the centers are sustainable without external funding.

Sriramappa Gonchikara, Country Director of United Purpose, said, “United Purpose’s experience has shown that WBCs are sustainable and scalable beyond initial support. Through our project, the financial condition of women has improved and they are more confident now. Our special thanks to Coca-Cola for coming up with this ambitious goal and making it a reality.”

Coca-Cola celebrated this milestone through a program arranged at the Women Business Centre (WBC) project in Jamalpur on March 16th, 2021. Farah Sharmeen Aolad, Country Manager Public-Affairs and Communication, Coca-Cola, Sriramappa Gonchikara, Country Director of United Purpose, Pronoy Kanti Das, District Civil Surgeon, Jamalpur and 50 entrepreneurs & beneficiaries were present at the event.

On this occasion, Coca-Cola Bangladesh Limited stated, “Women represent the greatest untapped source of economic opportunity in the world. According to a 2018 International Monetary Fund report, women’s economic empowerment boosts productivity and increases economic diversification and income equality as well as other positive outcomes.  As we look back, we celebrate these women and the changes they brought to their communities and our business in Bangladesh.

We thank United Purpose and the many collaborators who helped change the lives of more than 100 thousand women as part of our purpose to refresh the world and make a difference each day.”

Coca-Cola in Bangladesh will continue supporting initiatives around women empowerment to strengthen communities and create a better shared future for all of us in Bangladesh.

About Coca-Cola Bangladesh

Coca-Cola in Bangladesh refreshes thousands of consumers throughout the country through its core product offerings of Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Sprite, Fanta, Kinley Water, Kinley Soda, Coca-Cola Zero, Sprite Zero and Thums-Up Current. The system employs more than 800 people directly and indirectly provides employment to over 5,000 people. Coca-Cola is committed to strengthening the community through various programs, such as ‘Every Drop Matters’ and WASH, both of which help to provide water, sanitation, hygiene as well as rainwater harvesting projects in schools across the country. Coca-Cola in Bangladesh is running its unique and flagship program named “Women Business Center” where, women empowerment in financial sector is the main objective empowering 100,000 women by 2020.