In a bid to support 20,000 women-owned businesses throughout Africa, the global philanthropic arm of the organisation, the Coca-Cola Foundation (TCCF), has teamed up with Women in Africa (WIA), through the Jamii Femmes initiative. Recipients of the award would be from Kenya, Nigeria and Ivory Coast over the next three years, according to the foundation. The initiative is expected to boost business creation opportunities by improving access to vocational training, networks, finance and markets.
The Vice President and General Manager of the Coca-Cola Franchise for East and Central Africa, Debra Mallowah, during the launch, remarked that the company was pleased to have Kenya as one of the beneficiary countries under Phase I, saying “Women empowerment remains one of our key pillars in driving the sustainability agenda and we are keen to bring on board, more initiatives that deliver the desired positive impact in the lives of women in Kenya and Africa”. Mallowah disclosed that the goal of the Jamii Femmes initiative is to encourage the development of innovative ideas for sustainable development in Africa.
Following the success of Cohort 1 of the initiative in 2022 to about 3000 recipients; the programme has been scaled to reach more women in 2023 across Northern and Southern Africa, under its Cohort 2. Explaining the phases of the grant, Mallowah explained that the first phase consists of a four-month digital training phase, which is carried out by Honoris United Universities, a knowledge partner of Women in Africa (WIA) initiative. The third step, according to her, would feature chosen entrepreneurs engaging in an accelerator programme, after which a special reward of $10,000 will be awarded each country. In the second phase, she said selected recipients will have access to funds.