On the International Women’s Day- celebrated annually on March 8th- we bring awareness to the human rights struggles faced by women around the world. Many women in developing countries want to earn an income, but might not have the access to opportunities and education.
I’d love to introduce you to the inspiring Coca-Cola’s 5by20 initiative, a program that provides skills training, financial resources, and mentorship to millions of women entrepreneurs around the world.
Using recycled materials that would have been discarded, women in the program create and sell beautiful products. Sandy in Mexico makes gorgeous purses and iPad covers out of unusable consumer packaging; Benedicta, from Uganda, collects used plastic straws and weaves them into bags, jewelry, mats, and even dresses. The red handbag below is made from bottle-caps by Cop Madam in Turkey, while the white one is made from fish scales collected by river banks in Brazil- how clever is that!?
Supporting these artisans and their businesses means supporting their family. I was astounded to learn that women are more likely to reinvest 90% of their income in food, education and healthcare for their children. As these women rise- their communities prosper. Over and over, studies have found a direct correlation between women’s empowerment and GDP growth, business growth, environmental sustainability, improved human health, and other positive impacts.
The 5by20 Initiative was launched in 2010 with the goal of empowering 5 million women entrepreneurs, in more than 60 countries, by 2020. To read more about the artisans who craft these unique, environmentally-friendly items check out the 5by20 web site. This International Women’s Day, let’s join together to support this important program for women entrepreneurs by helping them access they need to support themselves and provide for their own families.
I received products from Coca-Cola’s 5by20 program; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.