The economics of women empowerment: Why Coca-Cola Philippines is investing in women to grow its business

To a lot of Filipino women, the sari-sari store has become a symbol of economic empowerment which strikes the balance between being able to augment the financial needs of the family and being able to care for the children and the household.


In the retail industry, the sari-sari store retail sector takes center stage, especially for fast moving consumer goods that are targeted towards the broad market base or the masa. This is particularly true for Coca-Cola products, from its timeout, kasalo, and litro glass and PET bottles. Consumers can easily buy these from sari-sari stores in every street or corner. They are essentially the hands that extend products to consumers.


Sari-sari stores and carinderias are mostly owned and managed by women. These micro entrepreneurs are the pillars of the communities where we operate in and are critical to our local and global business success. However, they encounter barriers to growing their businesses such as lack of entrepreneurial skills training and business resources.


Launched in 2011, the Coca-Cola STAR Program is the Company’s flagship program for women economic empowerment in the Philippines. The Program aims to provide an enabling environment that can help women micro entrepreneurs overcome the barriers they face to business success. In partnership with government and various microfinance institutions, Coca-Cola Philippines was able to implement the Coca-Cola STAR Program on a nationwide scale. The Program is implemented in 47 cities and provinces across the country with over 52,000 women micro-entrepreneurs engaged in its various components. By year 2020, the program intends to reach 200,000 women retailers.


The Coca-Cola STAR Program is comprised of three major components: (1) Access to Training; (2) Access to Resources; and (3) Access to Peer Mentoring support. To effectively deliver on these program components, Coca-Cola Philippines forged a partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) at the national level and formed partnerships with four reputable microfinance institutions across the regions: Alalay sa Kaunlaran, Inc. for North Luzon, ASA Philippines for NCR and South Luzon; Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation for Visayas and First Community Cooperative for Mindanao.


“The impact of helping women achieve economic empowerment will be far and wide. As women are most likely to invest their earnings back to the growth of their families, especially children, which paves the way for a better future generation,” said Atty. Adel Tamano, Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications of Coca-Cola Philippines.


Coca-Cola Philippines also established the STAR Center for Excellence facility at the TESDA Women’s Center to enhance and diversify the program in order to address changing needs and challenges in the retail sector. The center serves as a venue for the training and accreditation of facilitators to be deployed throughout the country. To date, the Coca-Cola STAR program has 340 accredited facilitators teaching and training women retailers to become better entrepreneurs.


The Coca-Cola STAR Program is part of the global initiative of The Coca-Cola Company to enable the empowerment of 5 million women within its value chain by the year 2020. From women fruit and sugarcane farmers, to distributors, to retailers up to recyclers, who are involved in the sourcing, manufacturing, distribution, selling and repurposing of Coca-Cola product packaging, they are an integral part of the Company. The 5by20 global initiative, present in almost 60 countries to date, opens opportunities for women to explore micro-enterprising opportunities by leveraging the important role they play in the Coca-Cola value chain through various programs initiated in different countries, including the Philippines.





About The Coca-Cola Company


The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands.  Led by Coca-Cola, one of the world's most valuable and recognizable brands, our Company's portfolio features 20 billion-dollar brands including, Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia, Dasani, FUZE TEA and Del Valle.  Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks.  Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy our beverages at a rate of more than 1.9 billion servings a day.  With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that reduce our environmental footprint, support active, healthy living, create a safe, inclusive work environment for our associates, and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate.  Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world's top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system associates.  For more information, visit Coca-Cola Journey at, follow us on Twitter at,visit our blog, Coca-Cola Unbottled, at or find us on LinkedIn at