Coca-Cola’s STEP program gives female entrepreneurs a leg up in business

Coca-Cola's 5by20 program is a global initiative focused on bringing economic empowerment to 5 million women by 2020. The program focuses on business skills training, loans and financial services, and building peer networks and mentoring. (Image: Special)

Coca-Cola’s 5by20 program is a global initiative focused on bringing economic empowerment to 5 million women by 2020. The program focuses on business skills training, loans and financial services, and building peer networks and mentoring. (Image: Special)

 

By Chanda Temple

I’ve always loved Coca-Cola. It’s refreshing, bubbly and goes great with a good burger.

But after learning that the company offers a global program focused on helping new female entrepreneurs address barriers in business, my love for the red and white soda brand just deepened.

Cue the crush music.

Coca-Cola’s 5by20 campaign is inspiring. The free program offers business skills training courses, financial services and connections with peers or mentors for female entrepreneurs. All women have to do is have a business and sign up online. The goal of the program, which started in 2011, is to provide economic empowerment to 5 million women by 2020.

From the small town farmer to the established shop owner selling the produce, the program packs a punch that commands attention. One of its components is the Supplier Training & Empowerment Program known as STEP.

STEP gives women tips on how to handle issues when they are trying to start, sustain and grow a business. The program also has beginner and advanced courses offered by the Harvard Business Review.

Want to know more? A Coca-Cola representative will discuss the STEP program on Saturday, March 11 during the Sixth Annual Natural Hair and Health Expo at the BJCC’s North Hall from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Eyvon Austin, programs director of supplier diversity for Coca-Cola North America, will speak on the main stage at 1:45 p.m. She’ll give details on STEP, why women should get involved and take questions. Those staying until the end of her presentation, will be entered into a drawing for tickets to the Funk Fest at Legion Field on May 6 and the Steel City Jazz Fest on June 2 and 3. Participants must be present to win.

For the expo’s full schedule, go here.

Funk Fest and Steel City Jazz concert tickets are up for grabs for those staying to hear info on how women can be better in business. (Image: Coca-Cola)

Funk Fest and Steel City Jazz concert tickets are up for grabs for those staying to hear info on how women can be better in business. (Image: Coca-Cola)


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