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Coca-Cola 5by20 STAR graduates report significant improvement in their businesses

02:36 PM April 04, 2018

Coca-Cola 5by20 STAR program graduate Carmelita Aspiras looks after her sari-sari store, which grew after she applied her learnings from the program.

When Carmelita Aspiras opened her sari-sari store in 2012 to help fund her youngest son’s college education, she struggled to keep the business afloat. During her store’s first two years, she toiled with constantly depleting inventory and increasing debts.

However, things began to change in 2015 when Carmelita joined the Coca-Cola 5by20 Sari-Sari Store Training and Access to Resources (STAR) Program. Here, she underwent training on business professionalism, planning, and management which helped her conquer financial barriers and improve her small enterprise.

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“Nung mag-join ako sa Coke 5by20, hindi ko inaasahan ang magiging magandang effect niya sa buhay ko. Talagang habang nagte-training kami, nag-enjoy ka na kasi ang dami mo nang natutunan at nalaman, ang dami mo pang experience na hindi mo inaasahang maranasan sa buhay mo,” she shared as she reminisced about her unique experiences like team building with fellow sari-sari store owners.

(“When I joined the Coke 5by20, I didn’t expect the positive effect it would have in my life. We really enjoyed our training because we learned a lot and experienced so many new things that we didn’t expect we would ever go through in our lives.”)

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Carmelita is just one of over 130,000 women micro-entrepreneurs that Coca-Cola has helped through the STAR Program since it was established in 2011. In line with the global campaign, the program aims to empower 200,000 Filipinas by 2020.

With a growing number of participants in the STAR program, Coca-Cola Philippines decided to measure its impact among the trainees, conducting a research from 2015 to 2017 comprised of five waves of surveys among 500 graduates.

The training proved to be highly beneficial for Carmelita as she easily put into practice her learnings like applying correct mark-up prices to products and paying attention to customer preferences and competition. According to the 5by20 Impact Report, 97% of the STAR program participants found the training useful while 98% of them applied their learnings to their business.

Upon using these newly-acquired skills, Carmelita also became a part of the 96% of women who reported business growth in their sari-sari stores and whose income, revenue and inventory size increased by 12%, 17%, and 20%, respectively.

Now, with a thriving sari-sari store business, Carmelita moves forward with entrepreneurial confidence, applying her learnings beyond the store, to other supplementary ventures such as selling home-cooked meals, offering made-to-order Filipino desserts and baked goods, and even selling clothes and shoes. She funds her side projects with income from her sari-sari store business to continuously invest towards a more stable financial future.

Just as Carmelita now sees a clear path towards her goal of financial success, 65% of the STAR micro-entrepreneurs are also confident of their future financial stability, substantially rising by 32% compared to the base line survey in 2015.

The STAR Program was launched by Coca-Cola Philippines to complement the 5by20 global initiative of the brand which aims to empower 5 million women by 2020. Implemented in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the program has become one of the most responsive and inclusive advocacies in the region which equips women micro-entrepreneurs with the necessary knowledge to achieve economic stability by giving them access to training, resources, and peer mentoring.

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At present, the STAR Program has been implemented in 54 locations nationwide, with nearly 500 accredited facilitators aiming to help 200,000 women reach financial success.

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TAGS: Coca-Cola 5by20 STAR, sari-sari store business
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