Coca-Cola Philippines is brewing a landmark Christmas celebration for the year with the participation of its biggest business drivers: women sari-sari storeowners. In a full-scale brand thrust that is integrated with its social development commitments, the country’s leading beverage company would go back to communities and make Filipinos feel the magic of Christmas in every corner with the help of the women behind sari-sari stores.
STARs of the celebration
The celebration kicks-off with the STAR Program Christmas Convention (SPCC)—a series of events happening within October that would assemble close to 5,000 women in 6 different cities, all of whom have been helped by the Sari-Sari Store Training and Access to Resources (STAR) Program of Coca-Cola Philippines.
In 2010, The Coca-Cola Company made a global commitment to economically empower 5 million women within its value-chain by 2020. This spurred the collaboration of Coca-Cola Philippines and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) towards the development of a local program that will enhance the business knowledge and skills of women sari-sari store owners and operators. That program is now called STAR.
Now on its third year, STAR has impacted over 30,000 women learn how to better run their businesses—from merchandising, to cash flow and inventory management.
“The STAR Christmas Convention serves as culmination of all our achievements for the year, as well as the start of a Christmas celebration like no other. By this time, all the women who will attend SPCC have graduated from four business modules and would then be entering the next phase of the program called Access to Resources,” says Atty. Adel Tamano, Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications of Coca-Cola Philippines.
The second phase involves patching the women entrepreneurs to various microfinance partners to further infuse capital and grow their business—these partners are Alay Sa Kaunlaran, Inc. (ASKI) for Luzon, Negros Women for Tomorrow (NWTF) for Visayas and Palawan, and First Community Cooperative (FICCO) for Mindanao. They would also be given access to new merchandising and store assets as well as other forms of social development interventions.
“Coca-Cola recognizes the significant role of women in the development of business and communities. In the case of the Philippines, we always find sari-sari stores in every corner managed by women. We try to include them in our value chain development programs and create enabling environments for their businesses to thrive and become sustainable. This Christmas season – by providing the sari-sari stores with merchandising support – we hope that this will help drive customer traffic to their stores which we hope will increase their sales. As we know, when women earn they tend to reinvest their income to the welfare of their family,” added Tamano.
A Christmas like no other
To mark the company’s continued commitment to the partnership, Share Sari-Saring Happiness will take people to the sari-sari stores of the women who are enrolled in the STAR Program for a nationwide lighting ceremony on November 8.
Attendees of the SPCC were given special parol kits to be assembled, decorated, and placed in their respective stores in time for the November lighting. The move is poised to transform their businesses into new and iconic Coca-Cola Christmas Hubs.
“Our parols would serve as a marker. Those who enjoy the refreshing Happiness of Coca-Cola should be able to celebrate Christmas in a place that is accessible and familiar—and these are the new Christmas Hubs,” concluded Tamano.
The Star Program Christmas Convention takes place at Manila, Davao, Batangas, Pampanga, Bacolod, and Tacloban. For more details, you may check www.coca-cola.com.ph or the official Facebook page of Coca-Cola Philippines.