UN Women and Coca-Cola South Africa hosted the iBusiness Journey Yami at Riversands Incubation Hub on 1 October 2015. This event celebrated the accomplishments of female micro-entrepreneurs from South Africa. The event was represented by 150 with more than 17 000 women reached since 2013.
With the support of local implementing partner, Hand in Hand Southern Africa the project seeks to train a total of 25,000 entrepreneurs many of whom are running small retail businesses. They will equip them with business skills, leadership training and mentoring. The programme is part of the Coca-Cola Company 5by20 global project which aims to empower 5 million female entrepreneurs across the company’s value chain by 2020.
Dr. Lawrence Gadzikwah, CEO of Hand in Hand Southern Africa, stated that they have been successful in rolling out the programme in all provinces except Northern Cape and Free State but hope to reach women in these areas by the end of the year. He reiterated that the aim of the programme is to create sustainable development and decrease poverty.
Auxilia Ponga, Representative for UN Women South Africa Multi Country office said that “we have a power within us that we don’t recognise”, as she encouraged the women at the event. Nonhlanhla Mabe, a widow and single mother is a great example of how these partnerships have transformed her life.
The training she has received has empowered and maintained her micro-business in Katlehong Township. She is now able to manage her business records and price her products. This gives her the opportunity to also maintain existing customer relations and attract new ones.
“Through the strength of the partnership with UN Women and Hand in Hand, we have witnessed the women participating in this programme establish and grow their businesses, increase their earnings and create new jobs within their communities. They have gone to share their success at the iBusiness Journey Yami in order to set an example for other female entrepreneurs whilst investing in their communities” – Mr. Vukani Magubane, Director of Public Affairs and Communications, Coca-Cola, South Africa