The Human Resource Manager of the Liberia Coca Cola Bottling Company (LCCBC), Madam Aminata Kamara, said her company wants to provide economic freedom and security for Liberian women, especially those engaged in small business. According to her, when women are economically empowered, they can contribute significantly to the growth of the society.
She said LCCBC is not just interested in empowering Liberian women economically, but also wants to train them to acquire the requisite skills relative to managing their businesses. The company, she added, wants to reach out to Liberian women entrepreneurs to make them financially independent, so as to enable them to “drive their own lives.”
She recalled that since 5BY20 was launched in Liberia in 2010, 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 in dire need of support and independence to control their destiny.
Earlier, Mr. Raman Garway, Program Manager for Women Economic Empowerment at UN Women, who spoke for his boss, said the Next Level program has successfully reached out to over 15,000 women entrepreneurs from over 110 communities across Liberia since 2010.
The Next Level, a UN Women empowerment organization, and 5BY20 Joint Initiative targets the empowerment of 900 women in Liberia’s 15 counties.
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.
Garway said UN Women believes that developing the skills of market women prepares them for the world of business, which remains the primary source of income for women entrepreneurs in the informal sector.
He said the Next Level and 5BY20 partnership aims 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 to respond to the needs of women entrepreneurs, and are also committed to ensuring strengthened partnerships 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,” Garway 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 a virtuous cycle of re-investment in their families and communities,” he said.