They are changing the face of global businesses. Collectively, they control $20 trillion of worldwide spending. Of what they make, they reinvest ninety percent of their income in their families and communities. They are mothers, sisters and daughters. They are business owners. They are women—women who work and dream of better lives. And in 2013, the financial commitment to grow those dreams was announced in Washington, D.C.
and IFC Executives at Agreement Signing Event
Coca-Cola and IFC Executives at Agreement Signing Event
Women at the Heart of Business
Many small to midsize retailers in emerging and developing markets are women-owned and operated.
Because many of those retailers are located in hard-to-reach communities, Coke relies on small, independently owned distributors or MDCs to deliver beverages to those local retailers.
In studying how the MDCs work, Coke found that a high percentage of the distribution centers are owned by women. Upon finding success, women, more than their male counterparts, reinvest their money and time back into building their businesses, families and communities. It was this finding that in 2010 led Coke to launch 5by20, which helps women succeed as entrepreneurs by teaching business skills, providing access to financial services, assets and support networks of peers and mentors.
Rosemary Njeri is one of those entrepreneurs. She originally launched her distribution business as a way of helping her husband and supporting her family. She started very small, but with the support of Coke, Njeri received training on stock keeping, book keeping and IT, and management training. As a result, her distribution center has grown from 2 employees to 16 and her thriving business is the second largest of the 37 centers
The Power of Partnerships
IFC is among many partners
Already work related to the new IFC partnership is beginning in Nigeria where
"Women entrepreneurs, who account for ownership of about 37% of small and medium sized businesses, are changing the face of the global economy, helping to sustain job creation and economic growth. However, all too often women, who already face societal and cultural barriers also find it more difficult than men to gain access to finance,” said Jin-Yong Cai, IFC CEO and EVP. “This innovative partnership with The
In Africa, which is included in the joint initiative, the need for business financing is strong. Women own more than 800 MDCs and an additional 850 are co-owned by women. Of these small MDC businesses, more than 3,400 of them are employing upwards of 19,000 people directly. These numbers are growing rapidly in North and West Africa, and particularly in Nigeria and Ghana, where women own more than 70 percent of the micro-distributors. And since 2009, more than half of all new MDCs created are owned and run by women.
More on Journey
- Smart Economics: Coke’s Muhtar Kent Explores Link Between Empowered Women and Stronger Communities
- At Davos Investing in Women Emerges as a Business Strategy
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- Building Stronger Businesses, Families and Communities One Woman at a Time: A 5by20 Infographic