Coca-Cola Philippines is partnering with the Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation (NWTF) to help women micro-entrepreneurs in and around Tacloban City revive their businesses following Typhoon Haiyan.

“Sari-sari stores and food stalls or krinderyas are vital economic units that can help ensure the flow of goods within the community,” said Atty. Adel A. Tamano, vice president, Public Affairs and Communications, Coca-Cola Philippines. “This partnership will help jumpstart the sari-sari store economy in Leyte, the women micro-entrepreneur sector in this typhoon-affected area needs immediate access to capital, inventory, store rebuilding and steady source of consumer goods.” 



Tacloban

This partnership is part of the Sari-Sari Store Training and Access to Resources (STAR) Program, designed to economically empower women sari-sari store owners and operators through training, financial resources and peer mentoring. In Tacloban and other typhoon-ravaged municipalities in Leyte, Coca-Cola and NWTF will focus on providing access to bridge loans and other financial resources to affected women micro-entrepreneurs.

“Our partnership with Coca-Cola through the STAR program dates back to 2012,” said Corazon Henares, NWTF deputy director for operations. “Together we are already implementing the program in the Visayas and Palawan. In difficult times like after this monumental storm that has damaged everything in Tacloban, it is in the hands of equally passionate organizations to tackle the redevelopment work. We are fortunate to partner with Coca-Cola on this long-term social development work for Leyte.”

Loan amounts will vary by business, and will be payable weekly in six-, nine- and 12-month terms. The loans are renewable.

An estimated 2,000 women will be provided assistance in rebuilding their lives and businesses through this partnership, with new sets of women beneficiaries every two years over a course of eight years.

Edna Abaluya, one of the sari-sari store owners in Tacloban with a family of six shared, “I believe there’s still a tomorrow… it is time we move on to reclaim a brighter future.”

The STAR Program is part of Coke’s global initiative to enable the economic empower of 5 million women within its value chain by the year 2020. The STAR Program has been implemented in 25 cities and provinces across the Philippines, to date, in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Alalay sa Kaunlaran, Inc. (ASKI) for Luzon, NWTF for Visayas and Palawan and the First Community Cooperative (FICCO) for Mindanao. 

“The STAR Program is deeply rooted in creating positive change and making a meaningful difference in the lives of women,” said Gilda Custodio-Maquilan, Coca-Cola sustainability manager and chair of the STAR Program. “Empowerment of these women micro-entrepreneurs does not end in the provision of acess to resources, together with NWTF we will continue to nurture them and provide that enabling environment in order to transform them into becoming better entrepreneurs.”