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Coca-Cola marks Women’s Month with 40K scholarships for micro-entrepreneurs

Coca-Cola Philippines is steadfast in meeting their target of empowering 200,000 Filipino women micro-entrepreneurs by the year 2020 through the Coca-Cola 5by20 Sari-Sari Store Training and Access to Resources (STAR) Program. This year, the Company aims to help 40,000 women achieve business success through the 5by20 STAR Program, reiterating their global commitment to the economic empowerment of women.
“The Coca-Cola System globally supports the celebration of the International Women’s Day. Women are absolutely essential to the success of our business, and I want to thank the women that we work with for the lasting, positive difference they make for Coca-Cola and the communities we proudly serve every day. As an organization, we will continue to help empower women both inside and outside our Company. Outside our four walls, we’re helping build stronger communities through our 5by20 initiative that help enable the economic empowerment of 5 million women entrepreneurs across our value chain by the year 2020,” said Diego Granizo, president and general manager of Coca-Cola Philippines.
The target of empowering 40,000 women in 2017 will cater to several sectors including women in agriculture, women in the Women Economic Empowerment Program of the Philippine Commission on Women, distressed overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) through partnerships with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration of the Department of Labor and Employment and the National Reintegration Commission of OFWs, beneficiaries of the government conditional cash transfer program or Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development – National Capital Region, Artisan Women of Tondo, and for women who are in disaster stricken areas. The target will also include women micro-entrepreneurs who will undergo mentoring, or the Kapatid Program of the Department of Trade and industry and the civic group GoNegosyo.
As part of the 5by20 global initiative of The Coca-Cola Company, which aims to economically empower 5 million women within its value chain by 2020, Coca-Cola Philippines launched the STAR Program in 2011. To date, it has impacted the lives of over 80,000 women nationwide.
Coca-Cola, with their 19 manufacturing facilities in the Philippines, and over 10,000-strong labor force, is proactive in promoting women empowerment through the 5by20 initiative. 
“This year, as we are celebrating Women’s Month, we are doubling our efforts to bring the STAR Program to more women micro entrepreneurs. We will be partnering with various government agencies and local government units to further expand the scope of the program and empower more women micro entrepreneurs,” said Atty. Adel Tamano, vice president for Public Affairs of Coca-Cola Philippines.
Coca-Cola Philippines marked Women’s Month this year with a gathering of over 5,000 women micro-entrepreneurs in Davao City. The gathering aims to treat women micro retailers to a day of entertainment, wellness, and learning. It was also a showcase of the united front of national government agencies, the Davao City local government unit, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector in creating an enabling environment for micro enterprises to succeed. 
An official Women’s Month activity in the month-long celebration headed by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) and in the roster of activities for the Araw ng Dabaw celebrations, the event’s theme “We Make Change Work for Women Micro-Retailers,” highlights the impact of the initiatives of Coca-Cola in helping women achieve business success.
“Coca-Cola is helping create an enabling environment for the business success of women micro-retailers by setting up these partnerships, particularly with government agencies and micro finance institutions that would help women overcome barriers and challenges they face in achieving economic success. This event is an avenue to promote STAR Program’s inclusivity across all Filipino women interested in micro-retail businesses such as sari-sari stores and carinderias,” said Gilda Maquilan, 5by20 Lead, and Sustainability Manager of Coca-Cola Philippines.
Women micro entrepreneurs from Davao City and Davao del Norte, as well as spouses of military and police servicemen attended the event where they were presented the various services and interventions made available to them by the government, NGOs, and the private sector that would enhance their micro-enterprises.
Government leaders of Davao City, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), PCW, Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Trade and Industry, the Congressional Spouses Foundation, GoNegosyo, Tagum City Council of Women, First Community Cooperative, and the Philippine Association of Stores and Carinderia Owners.
The Women’s Month activity was also supported by Procter & Gamble, Unilever, and Suy Sing Commercial Corporation.
The Coca-Cola 5by20 STAR Program is implemented in partnership with TESDA. The STAR Program is designed for women micro entrepreneurs who own and manage sari-sari stores or carinderias. The Program addresses the barriers these women face and help them achieve business success. The STAR Program has three components: access to training, access to resources, and access to peer mentoring.
To date, the STAR Program has 390 accredited facilitators teaching and training women retailers to become better entrepreneurs. The STAR Program is being implemented in over 47 locations nationwide and has reached more than 80,000 women.

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