Supporting small enterprises and communities to thrive
As part of our commitment to helping communities thrive, we have a responsibility to help the small businesses in our supply chain. From the suppliers that help power our production to the retailers that connect with our consumers every day, small businesses play a vital role as an engine of economic growth and employment. They are critical to the success of our business operations. We value our relationships with our small business partners and recognize the challenges many faces in sustaining and growing their operations, such as limited business skills and the need for affordable financial services and infrastructure. As their business partners, we believe we can help them address these barriers to unlock their entrepreneurial potential and enable us to grow together. In 2018, we evolved our retailer development program to holistically focus on business skills, financial inclusion, and infrastructure development. The Retailer Development Programme is designed to equip our retailers, particularly the small-sized outlets, with basic business management skills to help improve their businesses and incomes. A total of 806 retailers were trained in 2018 covering the key modules such as financial management, product handling, understanding beer business and responsible retailing and environmental awareness.
The group provides direct employment to over 4 800 people and indirectly by supporting livelihoods through both our upstream and downstream value chain partners in sourcing inputs and the distribution and retailing of our beverages. The multiplier effects of our operations permeate through various facets of the Zimbabwean economy, thereby creating wealth and improving the welfare of the communities in which we work. The Company continues to support the construction of learning facilities at primary schools in marginalized areas, the projects for 2018 at Mucklenuck Primary School in Bubi – Matabeleland North Province, and Fairview – Matabeleland South Province of Zimbabwe were completed. This initiative includes the construction of model classroom blocks, the supply of furniture and other amenities. Communities are encouraged to participate by contributing their labour to mould bricks and supply water during construction to instill a sense of ownership which is important for maintaining the facilities. The company runs a bursary scheme to support gifted but under-privileged students to enroll for A level and university studies, with a current enrolment of 88 learners. We had a total of 4 learners graduating from local universities in 2018. The alumni from this scheme have been enlisted to become mentors under a Peer-to-Peer Mentorship Program. This is a platform for former bursary beneficiaries to encourage current beneficiaries to excel in their endeavors. Supporting Disaster Relief Efforts The company responds to disasters, provide humanitarian relief as well as ad-hoc requests for donations. Where we can, we support worthy causes to deliver positive change in the communities where we operate. These programs are guided by the Group’s ethics and donations policies which exclude donations to certain areas such as:
- Political and religious organizations particularly projects that are designed to facilitate the spread of their ideologies and beliefs
- Individuals, commercial or profit-making businesses or organizations
- Publications, exhibitions, marketing campaigns, and general research
- Sports sponsorships and music festivals except for the brand led properties
The Company donated RTGS$1,5 million towards Cyclone Idai Aid to alleviate one of the worst disasters experienced in years in the country
COCA-COLA GLOBAL 5 BY 20 INITIATIVE
There is overwhelming evidence that achieving equality and empowerment for women has both immediate impacts that benefit them directly and broader ripple effects that are good for society. 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. Women around the country are already pillars of our business system. In 2012, we built on that foundation and developed our 5by20 initiative in recognition of both the challenges faced by women and their economic potential. 5by20 is The Coca-Cola Company’s global commitment to enable the economic empowerment of 5 million women entrepreneurs across the company’s value chain by 2020. Specifically, this means the small businesses that the Company works with across the country — from fruit farmers and recyclers to retailers and artisans.
What Empowerment Looks Like
Through 5by20, we address the most common barriers women face when trying to succeed in the marketplace. This initiative offers women access to business skills training courses, financial services and connections with peers or mentors – along with the confidence that comes with building a successful business.
The Power of Partnerships
Achieving our share of the vision of enabling the economic empowerment of 5 million women by 2020 worldwide depends on building scalable models and powerful partnerships. In particular, our Golden Triangle approach to partnership across the business, civil society and government are vital to maximizing the impact of our programs and making them more sustainable. We plan to recruit and train over 5 000 women as part of the upgrading of the informal market traders and small to medium enterprises. 2 000 women have been trained so far. The female managerial employees of the Coca-Cola system in Zimbabwe participate in the local chapter of The Coca-Cola Women’s Business Resource Group, Women’s linc, which is focused on engaging, inspiring and developing the women of The Coca-Cola Company to drive total business performance and establish a strong reputation as a great place to work for women. The program also challenges women to work for their communities as volunteers. Women’s Linc Zimbabwe is running a campaign in which a classroom block is being built at Cheuchi Primary School in Mashonaland West province. In 2018 $10 000 and RTGS$ 10 000 bricks were donated for the cause.