The Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, Coca-Cola Nigeria Ltd and its bottling partner, the Nigerian Bottling Company, have announced a collaboration aimed at empowering 1,000 women in Lagos State.
The partners said through this partnership framework , the selected women would receive training in financial literacy and business skills as well as start-up capital to integrate them into the Coca-Cola value chain as retailers of the company’s beverage products.
“This partnership is anchored on Coca-Cola’s 5by20 programme, which is the company’s global commitment to enable the economic empowerment of five million women entrepreneurs across its value chain by 2020,” a statement from the firm said.
The Executive Secretary LSETF, Akintunde Oyebode, was quoted as saying that the LSETF’s mandate was to create an enabling environment for Lagos residents to realize their business aspirations by providing advantage and access to finance for them to thrive, while ensuring employment and innovative opportunities for all residents of the state.
“A partnership with an organisation such as Coca-Cola assures us that we are working in the right direction and strengthens our commitment to building entrepreneurs within the state. We understand that to empower a woman is to empower a whole generation.
“We will continue to provide accessible and affordable credit to support women as they seek to start or expand their businesses, because when we do, we create wealth and employment that alleviate poverty,” Oyebode said.
The Managing Director, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, Mr Bhupendra Suri, said, “Now more than ever, we are certain of our commitment to the well-being of our communities, a critical part of which are our women.
As pillars of their communities, women invest a sizeable portion of the income they earn on the health and education of their children and in their local economies, creating a tremendous economic impact.
“LSETF is our partner of choice for this initiative considering our shared vision on women empowerment and its vast network across the state.”
Suri stated stated that realising the vision of enabling the economic empowerment of five million women by 2020 depended on building scalable models and powerful partnerships, across businesses, civil society and government.
This, he said, was vital to maximising the impact of their programmes and making them more sustainable.
The Legal and Public Affairs Communications Director, NBC, Mrs Sade Morgan, said, “As a part of the Coca-Cola system, we understand the importance of partnerships. Our business and its growth in Nigeria are a result of strategic partnerships with distributors, retailers and our consumers.
“Whenever there is a call to collaborate for sustainable impact, we ensure we are there to support it with our expertise. We will work to position each beneficiary in strategic locations that are profitable and link them up to our distribution network, so that the ripple effect of individual growth can be felt across our society.”