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.