I received products from Coca-Cola’s 5by20 program; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
It’s no secret that my passion lies in empowering and lifting up others. Especially women. And especially women in vulnerable situations or communities at home and abroad. Sometimes I feel like a broken record when I share over and over again how much I have seen (firsthand!) what something as simple as a job and opportunity can do for someone. When I learned about the Coca-Cola #5by20 campaign, I knew this was something I had to share with you guys. This campaign encompasses so much of what I believe and so much of what I think can truly change the world and have such a positive ripple effect.
The 5by20 initiative was launched in 2010 with the overall goal of empowering (and employing!) 5 MILLION women entrepreneurs around the world by the year 2020. The program, developed by Coca-Cola, looked at some of the most common barriers and obstacles that women in developing countries face that ultimately prevent them from succeeding in the marketplace. Coca-Cola began partnering with communities and offering access to trainings, financial services, and peer-to-peer mentoring.
There are countless studies that show that women are more likely to reinvest 90% (yes, NINETY PERCENT) of their income in food, education, and healthcare for their children and their families. Not to mention, the fact of the matter is, that when women rise and when women are empowered in their communities, that has a ripple effect. When women are succeeding and when women are growing, their surrounding communities also experience growth in terms of education, prosperity, and even health. There is a direct correlation between women’s empowerment and GDP and business growth, community and environmental sustainability, and improved emotional, physical, and spiritual health.
When you invest in the education, training, and success of women, you’re investing in a family and a community and a city and a region and a country. Right now, there are 5by20 programs that are empowering and enabling women in more than 60 countries around the world. By the end of 2015, 1.2 million women were impacted through the initiative and that number has continued to grow in 2016 and 2017!
This year, Coca-Cola launched a line of upcycled and recycled products made out of Coca-Cola packaging, labels, pull tabs, cans, and more! All of the products are handmade by women artisans participating in the 5by20 program! This is a total win because it’s not only preventing waste by upcycling and recycling “trash,” but also it’s giving these women an opportunity, a sustainable income, and hope.
This is an awesome video that shows, firsthand, the women and process that went into this particular piece of the #5by20 campaign:
Next week, on March 8th, it is International Women’s Day. I couldn’t think of a more perfect time to talk about how important it is for us to remember that as women, no matter where we are or what we do, by lifting each other up and empowering and encouraging each other to succeed, that it has a positive effect on our communities.
Especially women in developing nations, they don’t want a hand out. They don’t want your charity. They want a hand up. They want you to buy their stuff. They want a job. They want to be able to provide for their families. They want access to education. They want to be paid a fair wage. They just want opportunity.
I say this all the time and I’ll say it again… we vote every single day by the way we choose to spend our money. When we are spending money, we are voting for the kind of world we want to live in. Let’s vote by supporting artisans all over the world and right here at home.
Who’s with me? What does it mean to you to support and empower women?