Supporting Women Entrepreneurs with Coca-Cola

I received products from Coca-Cola’s 5by20 program; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

Something that I've been thinking a lot about lately is female Entrepreneurship and supporting businesses from other women. I've thought about this a lot as I've started my own Lipsense business and as I've reflected about the other women I know in my life who are making an income through direct sales. It's created a larger effort in me to support other women in these businesses and to help share the love when possible. I've been wanting to start a series on my Instagram each Friday called #PaigesFavoriteWomenWhoWork, and feature a female business owner who I think is killing it right now. It's small, but it's a way that I'm able to give back a little bit to business owners, and help support other women in my community. 

While I've been thinking about ways to support women in my local community, I've thought a lot about how I can support women around the globe as well. Imagine wanting to earn an income but having no access to the resources, skills, or opportunities that could allow you to provide for yourself or your family. Unfortunately, this is a reality that many women around the world are struggling to overcome every day. They need a hand-up, not a hand-out to lift themselves out of poverty. This International Women’s Day, I want to celebrate a program that is committed to just that – providing access to skills training, financial resources and mentorship to women entrepreneurs across the globe.

Today I've partnered with Coca-Cola to shine a light on their 5by20 initiative. Their goal when the program launched in 2010 was to empower 5 million women entrepreneurs across the company's value chain by 2020. The program addresses some of the most common barriers that prevent women from succeeding in the marketplace by offering access to trainings, financial services, and peer-to-peer mentoring. 

Studies have shown that women are 90% more likely to invest their income into things like food, healthcare, and education for their families. So when you support a female entrepreneur you're supporting an entire community, and bringing it to new heights. When you invest in the success and education of women, it's been proved to improve the economy, and make communities stronger, and more sustainable. 

One thing that these artisans are trained to do is make handcrafted items out of things that most people see as trash. Like the women in Mexico who make purses and iPad covers out of unusable packaging. Or like the women in Uganda who use plastic straws to make things like purses, jewelry, mats, and even dresses. Each item that they make is truly a work of art. I remember in high school taking a class where a woman from a Latin American country taught us how to weave animals using metal scarps from soda cans, and it's fun to see these women making a living out of something that was a trivial craft project for me as a teenager. 

If you want to learn more about these women, and how you can personally make a difference in their lives, and support their businesses and community, you can shop some of their handmade items by heading on over to Coca-Cola's site and seeing all the amazing things that they have to offer. You can also watch this video and see some of the amazing things that these women are doing!

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