Modular EKOCENTER kiosks help empower communities by providing access to basic goods and services through social enterprise model
Goal is to open 177 EKOCENTERs in 10 countries by end of 2016, serving a potential population of approx. 1 million
Coca-Cola marked a major milestone recently with the opening of its 100th EKOCENTER worldwide in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam. Since launching the social enterprise program in 2013, Coca-Cola has placed EKOCENTERs in communities in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania and Vietnam.
EKOCENTER is designed to help communities and businesses thrive. Typically run by female entrepreneurs selling products and essential services, the solar-powered and self-contained kiosks serve as both a community center and general store.
Some units provide basic necessities like safe drinking water, Internet access, and periodic medical check-ups. They also serve as a social hub for local residents offering opportunities to gather for myriad reasons from vocational training to hosting social events to viewing sports and news live.
“EKOCENTER helps underserved communities develop, in a flexible model where everyone benefits,” said Beatriz Perez, chief sustainability officer, The Coca-Cola Company. “We’ve adapted the EKOCENTER model to best meet the needs of communities as they differ across regions. Our journey is just beginning, and we are committed to partnering with many organizations combining our collective strengths for greater impact.”
Like many others, the 100th EKOCENTER launched in Ha Long Bay is a partnership with national and international aid organizations, businesses and the government. Located in a resettlement area for local fishermen, the site includes an EKOCENTER kiosk, a water treatment system, community house and sports area.
EKOCENTERs are designed and built by German startup Solarkiosk, the company’s operational partner in five African countries. Solarkiosk’s modern, durable kiosk design and shared vision made them an ideal partner.
“We share Coke’s vision of supporting underprivileged communities, not by giving a hand out but by encouraging local entrepreneurship through sustainable solutions,” said Andreas Spiess, CEO, Solarkiosk.
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