Coca-Cola’s The Art of Entrepreneurship Event #5by20

Recently I was invited by Coca-Cola to the their headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, to attend The Art of Entrepreneurship Event.  In celebration of #5by20 artisan products now being made available for sale both online and at the World of Coke gift shop, bloggers were hosted for a fun one-day event to meet some of the inspiring women behind it all, and attend the "unveiling" of these beautiful, handcrafted items made from recycled materials.   These gorgeous items are now all available for sale at the Coca-Cola store online.  100% of the proceeds goes back to the artisan. To give you a little background, Coca-Cola's #5by20 initiative is a plan to help 5 million women entrepreneurs by the year 2020.  This includes all kinds of assistance, from business training and guidance to financial help in getting started.  You can watch video clips and/or read some of the fascinating success stories of women who've had their life significantly improved by participating … [Read more...]

This is What Empowerment Really Means

Sandy is 22 years old, and lives in Mexico.  She was raised in poverty, abused and neglected by her parents, and finally raised by her grandmother.  They lived in a landfill community where most people sort garbage all day, every day.  There were very few opportunities in life for her, and very little hope for change. Then Sandy heard about Coca-Cola's 5X20 initiative, and the training being made available locally in her area by an organization called Mitz.  (You can read my account of Judy's inspiring story, founder of Mitz, here: Helps Women Leave Garbage Heap for a Better Life.) The Mitz Foundation offered to give Sandy training and employment creating hand woven bags and other artisan products, made from recycled Coca-Cola labels. One day per week, Mitz taught Sandy a series of 9 lessons on weaving, and how to assemble a bag.  By her own admission, she struggled with it, and the craft did not come easily for her.  "They told me my bags were not such good quality", she … [Read more...]

Meet Judy: Helps Women Leave Garbage Heap For a Better Life

Last week, I had the opportunity to hear some of the women involved in Coca-Cola's 5by20 initiative speak at World of Coke in Atlanta, GA.  This is where I heard from Judy Achar, one of the most inspiring people I've ever met. Here is her moving story, of how she's been able to channel her passion for helping others into empowering impoverished women in Mexico to obtain a better life. Judy Achar, Mitz Founder and President "The only real change and opportunities in Third World countries is through education.  Not just in a classroom, but also in life." ~ Judy Achar.  Living in Mexico and working as a teacher at the only Montessori school serving underprivileged children, Judy wanted "to help kids have an easier and more delightful life".   This school was their Garden of Eden, a great source of pride for the children.  In many cases, it was the best thing they had in their life.  A clean place to come and learn each day, and receive a good meal. Yet it was a constant … [Read more...]

I’m Headed to Atlanta for Coke’s #5by20 Event!

Nearly three years ago, I was invited by Coke to attend a fun blogging event, Conversations with Coca-Cola.  Held at their headquarters in Atlanta, GA, this was a fantastic experience for me.  Touring the World of Coke and meeting the Coke Bear was a definite highlight. He *almost* licked my camera lens.  He loves me, and I love him back. It was at this conference that I first heard about Coca-Cola's program #5by20.  Simply put, it's The Coca-Cola Company's global initiative to enable the economic empowerment of 5 million women entrepreneurs by 2020.  To achieve this, they implement programs to help women entrepreneurs -- from fruit farmers to artisans. #5by20 has since been launched in over 40 countries around the world, and can boast a number of beautiful, inspiring success stories.  This short video about Mama Njeri in Kenya, who became a mango farmer, gave me goose bumps.  :) So I was very excited to receive an invitation to return to Atlanta for the #5by20 Art of … [Read more...]