• Empowering millions, one woman at a time

      In 2011, Coca-Cola Philippines launched the Sari-Sari Store Training and Access to Resources (STAR) Program. With this, the 5by20 global initiative of The Coca-Cola Company aims to economically empower 5 million women by 2020.

      "The STAR Program in the Philippines is a model program on how Coca-Cola can create a more direct and positive contribution to the development of the communities where we are present." said John Murphy, The Coca-Cola Company Asia Pacific Group President.

      The economic empowerment program of Coca-Cola Philippines for women micro-entrepreneurs is one of the most responsive and inclusive advocacies in Asia Pacific. The Coca-Cola STAR Program has changed the lives of more than 80,000 women. 2011's pilot program in Palawan started with 1,000 women.

      In Cebu, Coca-Cola STAR Program gathered 1,000 women entrepreneurs. The event in Danao enjoined the women in a day of learning, entertainment, and prizes.

      The STAR Program, anchored on the principle that when women have an opportunity to earn, they reinvest more than 90 percent of their income to the welfare of their children and family. By increasing the capacity of women to earn through traditional trade, like sari-sari stores and food stalls, poverty cycles within families and communities can be broken.

      The Coca-Cola 5by20 STAR Program is run in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). Three components of the program are access to training, resources, and peer mentoring. The program is a 12-week Basic Entrepreneurship and Gender Sensitivity Training Course. The attendees learn business professionalism, business planning, and management.

      After completing the training, women scholars are encouraged to access resources from partner microfinance institutions where they can apply for microloans and extra capital to expand their businesses.

      Through the STAR Program, equally passionate organizations unite with the common goal of uplifting the quality of life of these women and their families. Aside from TESDA, partners also include Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines, Alay sa Kaunlaran, Inc. (ASKI), First Community Cooperative (FICCO), Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation, Inc. (NWTF), ASA Philippines, and National Confederation of Cooperatives (NATCCO).

      Coca-Cola, with its 19 manufacturing facilities in the Philippines, and over 10,000-strong labor force, is promoting women empowerment through 5by20.

      To apply for the program, visit your nearest TESDA Center. Requirements are at least 6 months of operation of the sari-sari store or food stall, and a filled-up form.

      For more information on the Coca-Cola journey, visit www.coca-colacompany.com.

      Follow Coca-Cola on Instagram @Cocacolaph and @CocaColaCo on Twitter.
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