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LSETF, soft drink company sign MoU to empower 1000 women


Akintunde Oyebode

Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), Coca-Cola Nigeria Ltd and its bottling partner, Nigeria Bottling Company recently signed a partnership agreement to empower 1,000 women in the state. Anchored on Coca-Cola’s 5by20 Programme, the selected women will receive training in financial literacy and business skills as well as start-up capital to integrate them into the Coca-Cola value chain as retailers of the company’s beverage products.

Representing LSETF was its Executive Secretary, Akintunde Oyebode, who stated that the fund’s mandate is aimed at creating an enabling environment for Lagos residents to realize their business aspirations through providing leverage and access to finance for them to thrive. It would also ensure employment and innovative opportunities for all residents of the state.

“We understand that to empower a woman is to empower a whole generation,” Oyebode said. “We will continue to provide accessible and affordable credit to support women as they seek to start or expand their businesses because when we do, we create wealth and employment that alleviates poverty.”

Managing Director of Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, Mr Bhupendra Suri, said, “Now more than ever, we are certain of our commitment to the well-being of our communities, a critical part of which are our women. As pillars of their communities, women invest a sizable portion of the income they earn on the health and education of their children and in their local economies, creating a tremendous economic impact.”

He said achieving the vision of empowering five million women worldwide by 2020 depends on building scalable models and powerful partnerships across business, civil society and government, which is vital to maximizing the impact of their programmes and making them more sustainable.

Legal and Public Affairs Communication Director, Nigeria Bottling Company, Mrs. Sade Morgan, said, “Whenever there is a call to collaborate for sustainable impact, we ensure we are there to support it with our expertise. We will work to position each beneficiary in strategic locations that are profitable and link them up to our distribution network so that the ripple effect of individual growth can be felt across our society.”

Coca-Cola and its bottling partner, Nigeria Bottling Company, will provide access to Coca-Cola trade assets while LSETF will fund the trade assets and co-fund the programme implementation while also leading the identification and recruitment of participants to the programme.

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Akintunde OyebodeLSETF
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