Philippine Daily Inquirer
Coca-Cola STAR program gathers 1,000 women entrepreneurs in Cebu
Manila, May 5, 2017 — The economic empowerment program of Coca-Cola Philippines for women microentrepreneurs is one of the most responsive and inclusive advocacies in the Asia Pacific region. To date, the Coca-Cola Sari-sari Store Training and Access to Resources (STAR) Program has impacted the lives of more than 80,000 women. “The STAR Program in the Philippines is a model program on how Coca-Cola can create a more direct and positive contribution to the development of the communities where we are present,” said John Murphy, The Coca-Cola Company Asia Pacific Group president. Through the “Golden TriangleColaand Programreach agriculture;repatriatedcivil withto include Partnerships”society,further governmentwomen distressed women expandedthe overseasSTAR agencies,andof in Coca-its Filipinothe Association Overseas workersof Workersthe (OFWs) DepartmentWelfare through of Labor beneficiariesand Employmentof the government(DOLE); conditional cash transfer program or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of the DSWD-NCR; women micro-entrepreneurs under the Kapatid Program of both the DTI and GoNegosyo; as well as women in disaster-stricken areas. “This year, we are doubling our efforts to bring the STAR Program to more women by partnering with various government agencies and local government units, said Gilda Maquilan, 5by20 Lead and Sustainability Manager of CocaCola Philippines. During the STAR Caravan held at the Severo Duterte National Elementary School in Danao City in Cebu, Murphy interacted with around 1,000 women micro-entrepreneurs. The event enjoined the women in a day of learning, entertainment, and prizes. Potential 5by20 STAR Scholars had the opportunity to understand how the program operates through integrated components. This includes access to resources by connecting them to microfinance institutions such as Alay sa Kaunlaran, Inc. (ASKI), First Community Cooperative (FICCO), Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation, Inc. (NWTF), National Cooperativesindustry Philippine ASA membership ConfederationAssociation Philippines,(NATCCO); via of of Storesthe and and and Carinderia integration Ownersto the Coca-Cola (PASCO); value chain via customized business support provided by the bottling partner, Coca-Cola FEMSA Philippines. Coca-Cola Philippines launched the STAR Program in 2011, in line with the 5by20 global initiative of The Coca-Cola Company to economically empower 5 million women within its value chain by 2020. The Coca-Cola 5by20 STAR Program was implemented in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA). It is designed for women microentrepreneurs who own and manage sari-sari stores or carinderias to address the barriers they face to help them achieve business success. The STAR Program has three components: access to training, access to resources, and access to peer mentoring. The STAR Program has 390 accredited facilitators teaching and training women retailers to become better entrepreneurs and is currently being implemented in over 47 locations nationwide. Coca-Cola, with its 19 manufacturing facilities in the Philippines, and over 10,000strong labor force, continues to be proactive in promoting women empowerment through the 5by20 Program.