Coke bottler joins forces with bank to boost entrepreneurs

Maputo – Women and youth entrepreneurs in Mozambique will have access to a broad range of development support after Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) in Mozambique and Standard Bank signed an agreement to collaborate on entrepreneurship development initiatives in the country.

The two companies, represented by Managing Director for Mozambique, Duncan Wyness and Public Affairs, Communication and Sustainability Director (Southern Region), Neyde Pires for CCBA, and João Guirengane Director of Business Banking and Commercial Clients of Standard Bank, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cement the agreement at the launch event in Maputo today.

The joint initiatives will focus on women-owned businesses and include building skills, knowledge and expertise, local supply chain development, business development support and exposure to commercial activities in Mozambique.

iCreate is one of the available training options, which includes a 12-week acceleration programme with a focus on women-owned businesses, offering workshops, masterclasses, mentoring and exposure to commercial opportunities and linkages.

There will also be masterclasses on topics ranging from access to credit, stress management, digital marketing, financial fitness and trade opportunities, to risk and insurance.

The partnership will also provide access to a free e-learning platform in Portuguese and customised to Mozambique conditions, with 30 modules across 10 learning categories to democratise free learning for youth, start-ups and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Speaking for CCBA, Wyness said the company aimed to use its industry leadership to help achieve positive change.

“Our aim is to create greater shared opportunity for the business and the communities we serve across the value-chain. Opportunity is more than just money, it’s about a better future for people and their communities,” Wyness said.

“When we grow our business the right way, not just the easy way, we help create inclusive growth opportunities for our communities, women and youth, our customers, our employees and our shareholders, for a better shared future.

“The success of these programmes will be defined by the extent to which we boost income, unlock sustainable earnings potential as well as improve skills and business knowledge for our target groups, resulting in access to economic opportunities.

“Whether donating money, our time or our expertise, we take our responsibility to the communities we call home seriously,” Wyness said.

“We are committed to executing the activities of this program with zeal and in creating other opportunities to inspire young women to design and lead their businesses, easingthem with knowledge and facilitating their access to new markets, through contact with various speakers and partners of the program,” said Guirengane.

The agreement with Standard Bank follows the successful completion of another women empowerment programme by CCBA which created the CCBA/AguaPET Women Empowerment Programme, an association of plastic collectors and provided training over 12 weeks with the goal of empowering 500 people by the end of 2022 and continuing CCBA’s mission of leading the way as a responsible business in Africa.

The CCBA/AguaPET Women Empowerment Programme provided health and safety training in the areas of Covid-19 prevention, handwashing and technical collection and sorting safety to the AugaPET collectors, as well as developing them to lead collection teams, with the possibility of interviewing to become a Coke vendor.

Using a train-the-trainer model, the programme reached a total of 6,583 people, raising awareness of recycling in communities and working towards achieving Coca-Cola’s global goal of collecting and recycling a bottle or can for each one we sell by 2030 and bringing people together to support a healthy, debris-free environment.

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