Economic empowerment

Activating women’s inclusion in value chains

An estimated one in four Egyptian entrepreneurs and one in six established business-owners is a woman.[1] The lack of specialized training, modest educational background, limited access to finance, combined with social barriers, are just some of the challenges women entrepreneurs faces. In addition, many private sector jobs do not meet women’s minimum acceptable standards in terms of working conditions.

To help address this challenge, UN Women and The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) formed a global partnership to promote women’s economic empowerment. The partnership leveraged UN Women’s reach and influence as a leader in promoting gender equality and economic empowerment, and the global reach of Coca-Cola’s value chain and its extensive business expertise. It contributed to achieving both UN Women’s Strategic Plan and TCCC’s 5by20 Initiative, which both aim to increase the economic empowerment of women, especially of the most excluded.

Working together, TCCC and UN Women addressed barriers commonly faced by women entrepreneurs by providing business skills-training, leadership training and access to financial assets. UN Women Egypt tailored alternative solutions for employing and strengthening women through a package of business-development services and productive asset transfers, including to home-based retail outlets.

As a result, 1,500 women received the assets needed to start their own businesses, in addition to training on business development. In addition, 2,670 women received training on entrepreneurship and financial literacy. These targeted interventions enabled women not only to start their own businesses, but also to sustain and scale up their work.

This programme was implemented in partnership with the Social Fund for Development[2] from 2013–2015, with funding from TCCC.

[1] Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. 2017. Egypt national report 2016–2017.

[2] In April 2017, Prime Ministers’ decree no. 947 for year 2017 was issued thereby replacing the Social Fund for Development (SFD) with present day “Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency” (MSMEDA). 

Latest news