Coca-Cola Beverages Vietnam, Ltd. recently welcomed six bloggers to Vietnam for a first-hand look at Coke’s innovative efforts to give back to the community and empower women entrepreneurs with its EKOCENTERs. 

“I can help support my family now.”

This is one of the many benefits for Tham, the operator of the Ho Chi Minh City EKOCENTER in Vietnam. Tham was selected by the local Women’s Economic Union to attend business skills training, and then was ultimately chosen to be the operator of the Ho Chi Minh City EKOCENTER, the first of its kind in Asia. Not only has she learned business skills, but she’s now become an entrepreneur and earns income to help her family. Her income from the EKOCENTER has provided her family with more stability.

Tham opens the EKOCENTER at 6 a.m. each morning. She comes in, cleans the area and gets ready to open for the day. The Ho Chi Minh City EKOCENTER provides clean drinking water for locals, offers a play area and exercise area, and provides Wi-Fi and educational training. Most of the locals who come to the EKOCENTER need clean drinking water for their families. Throughout the day, she also encourages them to take advantage of the training and martial arts classes. Locals hang out during the day to talk with other locals, use the free Wi-Fi and drink refreshing Coca-Cola products.

Near the end of the day, she sets up the EKOCENTER community house for evening training classes. She also helps get the martial arts classes ready and assists locals with parking and getting prepared for each class.

Tham is proud of being the operator of the Ho Chi Minh City EKOCENTER, but she’s even prouder to serve her community.

The bloggers met a local retired woman who lives next to an industrial zone. She shared that she used to have to get drinking water for her family from an unknown source but she still couldn’t drink the water. Since the EKOCENTER has opened, she now comes to there to get clean drinking water for her family of six. She also brings her family there to exercise and take martial arts classes.

This EKOCENTER has strengthened the community and locals are thankful for what it provides.

Empowering Coca-Cola women

Not only is Coca-Cola empowering women in local communities; it is also doing just that for women at Coca-Cola. The company has several programs that helps to empower women at work which in turn has a positive effect in their communities and homes. The bloggers learned how Coca-Cola has a program for the sales team in Vietnam. More than 40 percent of the sales team are female, and each sales territory has two managers which provides them with the opportunity to not only have an income for their families but also time to spend more time with their families. The bloggers also met women leadership at Coca-Cola Beverages Vietnam, Ltd. who have grown their careers because they truly feel that Coca-Cola not only believes in them and their abilities, but also empowers them to be the best they can be both at work and at home.

Empowered women means stronger families. And stronger families means stronger communities.

See what our bloggers had to say about their experiences at the EKOCENTER and meeting some of the locals who are benefitting from the EKOCENTER (Savvy Sassy Moms, Teacake Travels, Single Slummy Mummy, Aman Singh, 2 Monkeys Travel).