When different eyes and minds examine a person or thing, they often see varying potential. Consider a beverage package. Many may look at it simply as a container for a drink. Maura Kroh, founder of Acacia Creations, sees art—and opportunity.

While working in refugee camps across Africa, Maura was inspired by the artistic talent of the people she met and the beautiful hand-crafted items they produced from materials such as aluminum cans.  However, she learned they lacked a way to sell their crafts and generate income. In 2007, Maura founded Acacia Creations in Kenya to help connect artisans with the global consumer marketplace. 

"Acacia Creations has helped connect more than 1,000 artisans across six countries"

Artisans in Nairobi and across East Africa create fun, eco-friendly decorations for profit, transforming Coca-Cola beverage packaging and unused telephone wire into “canimals,” such as giraffes, elephants, dinosaurs and reindeer. Acacia Creations has helped connect more than 1,000 artisans across six countries with a global marketplace to sell their beautiful handmade jewelry and home décor.

In 2015, canimals became available for sale through Coca-Cola Stores and Coca-Cola’s online shop. What started out as a small pilot soon grew in popularity and demand. To date, sales via the Coca-Cola Store amount to almost US $220,000.

Acacia Creations goes beyond creating jobs, providing training, and giving back to communities through education and healthcare initiatives. And that’s a great fit for Coca-Cola’s women economic empowerment efforts.

"To date, sales via the Coca-Cola Store amount to almost US $220,000"

Artisans are an important part of Coca-Cola’s 5by20 initiative, which aims to enable the economic empowerment of 5 million women entrepreneurs across the company’s value chain by 2020.

That means the small businesses the company works with in over 200 countries and territories. From fruit farmers to artisans, 5by20 seeks to help women overcome barriers they face to business success. Together, partners support business skills training; access to finance and assets, networking and mentoring, as well as access to new markets to sell their products—all necessary tools for these business women to succeed.

“Our mission has and always will be to improve lives in a long-lasting and sustainable way,” said Kroh.

“Coca-Cola’s 5by20 program aligns with our mission and our hope to empower women to create and earn an income to improve their lives, the lives of their families, and ultimately positively impact their communities."

"I truly believe everyone and everything has potential. If we could all embrace that outlook, the world would be a more wonderful and sustainable place.”

Maura Kroh, 5by20 Artisan & Founder of Acacia Creations

The Coca-Cola Company works with Acacia Creations to ensure products are made in line with the Company's Supplier Guiding Principles (SGP). This is achieved by working with an NGO that trains and validates adherence to SGP. You ‘can’ support 5by20 women artisans by purchasing your very own canimal here.