Internet startups get Coke boost

To celebrate women’s economic empowerment partnership milestones in Tagum City, Coca-Cola Philippines commissioned and unveiled the Empowered Woman artwork displayed at the Tagum City Historical and Cultural Center

Women’s economic empowerment was celebrated in Tagum City. Coca-Cola Philippines commissioned and unveiled the Empowered Woman artwork displayed at the Tagum City Historical and Cultural Center. | Photograph courtesy of Coca Cola

Over 1,500 micro-entrepreneurs from Davao del Norte, mostly online traders, were awarded certificates of completion for finishing the iSTAR program online in a graduation ceremony held at the Tagum City Hall in Davao Del Norte last 11 November 2022.

The education drive was implemented through a collaboration among Coca-Cola Philippines, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and Tagum City Council of Women Foundation Inc.

The micro-retailers who participated in the program are now better equipped with training and access to financial resources to help scale up their businesses.

iSTAR is the digitized adaptation of the Sari-Sari Store Training and Access to Resources Program, a long-standing partnership program of Coca-Cola Philippines with the TESDA, and implemented with the Tagum City Council of Women Foundation Inc. for the Mindanao region.

In this initiative, micro and small business owners are provided training and access to financial resources, which can help empower them to grow their businesses. Launched in 2021, the iSTAR Program has removed the limitations of in-classroom training and diversified its trainees by opening it to existing and start-up micro-retailers across all genders.

Women power

To celebrate women’s economic empowerment partnership milestones, Coca-Cola Philippines commissioned and unveiled the Empowered Woman artwork displayed at the Tagum City Historical and Cultural Center.

The company also opened the iSTAR Success Stories Photo Exhibit, showcasing photos of program beneficiaries and program highlights.

To celebrate partnership milestones on women’s economic empowerment in Tagum City that started in 2014, Coca-Cola Philippines commissioned and unveiled the Empowered Woman artwork, which will be on permanent display at the Tagum City Historical and Cultural Center.

The event also marked the opening of a roving iSTAR Success Stories Photo Exhibit. The gallery features photos showcasing testimonials of program beneficiaries and key highlights of the program’s economic and transformational impact.

For over a decade, the company has reached more than 250,000 women entrepreneurs in the retail sector across the 17 regions and 81 provinces of the Philippines — giving MSMEs access to skills training and peer-to-peer networks that will improve their business acumen and consequently help break the cycle of generational poverty.


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