LCCBC, UN Women Target Women Empowerment

By Jimmey C. Fahngon

In continuation of efforts aimed at empowering Liberian women, the Liberia Coca-Cola Bottling Company (LCCBC) in partnership with UN women has launched a project referred to as Next Level & 5BY20 joint initiative.

coca cola, liberia

5BY20 is the Coca-Cola Company’s global commitment to enable the economic empowerment of five million women entrepreneurs across the company’s value chain by 2020.

Speaking Wednesday at the launch of the joint initiative, the Human Resource Manager for LCCBC Madam Aminata Kamara said her company wants to provide economic freedom and security for Liberian women, especially marketers.

Madam Kamara said when women are economically empowered, they can contribute significantly to society growth.

She said LCCBC is not just interested in empowering Liberian women economically, but also training them the requisite skills relative to managing their businesses.

The LCCBC Human Resource Manager said her company wants to reach out to Liberian entrepreneur women to make them have financial independent, thereby making them to drive their own lives.

She recalled that since 2010 when 5BY20 was launched in Liberia, over 1,700 women have been empowered by LCCBC including female Ebola survivors.

Madam Kamara said LCCBC decided to partner with UN women to reach out to women who are dying need of support and independent to control their destiny.

Earlier, Mr. Raman Garway, Program Manager for Women Economic Empowerment at UN Women who spoke for his boss Next Level program has successfully reached out to over 15,000 women entrepreneurs from over 110 communities across Liberia since 2010.

Garway said UN women believes that developing the skills of market women, prepares them for the world business, which remains the primary source of income for women entrepreneurs in the informal sector.

He said the Next Level and 5BY20 partnership aimed to address the barriers women entrepreneurs commonly face by providing increased access to business skills training, leadership training, mentoring, peer networking skills and access to financial assets.

UN women remain strategically positioned in responding to the needs of women entrepreneurs, and are also committed to ensuring strengthened partnership to improve and diversify livelihood options for market women.

“Given that this joint venture aims to address the skills gap among female entrepreneurs, UN women will use this platform to get its message across, demonstrating the power of collaboration in addressing women’s economic empowerment in a sustainable manner,” he stated.

“With the Next Level and 5BY20 partnership, we expect women participating in these programs will have greater ability to establish and grow their businesses, increase their earnings and create new jobs in their communities. Their success will set an example for other women and create virtuous cycle of re-investment in their families and communities,” Garway noted.

For her part, Madam Yvonne Bright-Hardings who served as guest speaker commended UN women and Coca-Cola for their commitment to women economic empowerment.

Madam Bright-Hardings said research has shown that women are more likely than men to invest a large proportion of their household income in the education and well-being of their children.

She said when women are empowered to make an income, accumulate assets and increase their economic security; they improve industrial capacity and spur economic growth by creating new jobs, as well as expanding the pool of human resources and talents available in a country.

Madam Bright-Hardings underscored the need to develop a mentoring program that will enable successful female entrepreneurs to mentor younger women.

She called on women to support each other in business rather than tearing their friends apart.

She then called on the beneficiaries to make use of the opportunity provided by LCCBC and UN women for their own good.

The Next Level and 5BY20 Joint Initiative targets the empowerment of 900 women in the 15 counties.


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