Women play an important role in the family. But if you take a closer look, you’ll see that women are capable of countless things for instance running a business. In the Philippines, women have a strong presence in the retail side especially in sari-sari stores.
Usually small and can be set up in both urban and rural areas, sari-sari stores have everything you need. From basic commodities such as canned goods, candies, detergents, noodles, oil, rice, salt, shampoo, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar as well as beer and soft drinks, this little store is a huge help to the community.
Imagine cooking and running out of oil, salt, or vinegar, the sari-sari store is just right there. For a minimum amount, you get what you need to finish that dish. If you are a passerby and need a place to rest and have a snack, most sari-sari stores provide a shade. Sometimes there are benches and tables, a space created so people can eat while having a cheerful conversation with the store owner or other customers.
Indeed, there is more to a small business than what the sign says. And even though it’s just a small business, with perseverance and hardwork there will be multiple chances for growth. Not to mention, numerous opportunities that come your way.
5 Million By Year 2020
Women are the primary buyers of Coca-Cola products and are considered as pillars of the Coca-Cola business. For these hardworking women micro-entrepreneurs, Coca-Cola presented the 5by20 program. This program aims to expand economic opportunity that benefits 5 million women micro-entrepreneurs by the year 2020.
The 5by20 program also gives women entrepreneurs a chance to destroy the barriers to success and overcome challenges such as limited financial services and skills as well as insufficient information and misguided public policies. With this program, women will be empowered with the proper business skills training courses, financial services and connections with peers or mentors.
Since the launch, Coca-Cola has worked in 12 countries and reached 300,000 women entrepreneurs. By the year 2015, Coca-Cola expects to reach 1.5 million women in 20 to 30 countries. And by the year 2020, a total of 5 million women entrepreneurs will be empowered.
Indeed, the Coca-Cola’s initiative to empower women entrepreneurs is a great step. It does not only benefit the entrepreneurs themselves but it also creates jobs for others.
In the Philippines, Coca-Cola’s 5by20 project has made its way through the Sari-Sari Store Training and Access to Resources (STAR) Program. Coca-Cola Philippines and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority developed a program to enhance the women entrepreneurs’ knowledge and skills in running their store.
With the STAR Program, a huge number of sari-sari store owners have been empowered one of which is Leonida Bautista, STAR Program graduate from Bustos, Bulacan. She has been operating her sari-sari store for 10-12 years. She may be disabled but is very brave and determined. Hearing about the training from their local government, she took the chance and attended 12 weeks of training.
STAR helped Leonida in many ways such as doing a background investigation on the customer before giving credit, organizing merchandise, keeping the store clean, dealing with customers, recording credits properly, and computing a good mark-up for the products she sells. After graduating, Leonida fixed her store and implemented what she learned from the STAR Program.
With an opportunity like this, people should learn to grab it. Take the chance and learn so that you can operate your business well. This will help you and your business grow.
Happy Reading! #5by20 #WomenEmpowerment