Author’s note: I received products from Coca-Cola’s 5by20 program; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. You know how much I love to share amazing gifts that give back and empower women. 

“All women, everywhere, have the same hopes: we want to be self-sufficient and create better lives for ourselves and our loved ones. When we invest in women, we invest in a powerful source of global development.  – Melinda Gates

Throughout my life, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to travel to some of the most remote corners of the earth. Through my travels and work as a social good blogger, I’ve witnessed inequality and injustice however I’ve also seen the tremendous opportunity to make the world a better place for all.

Today, millions of people in the developing world continue to live in extreme poverty, and the majority of them are women and girls. Women lack education, healthcare, water and sanitation, and most of all economic opportunities to lift them and their families out of poverty. Despite this seemingly depressing reality, there is an enormous amount of hope and opportunity to improve the lives of women around the world.

In the field of international development, it is a well-known fact that women are powerful agents of change and development. Studies show that women are likely to reinvest 90% of their income in food, education and healthcare for their children and their families.  Therefore empowering a woman and unlocking her economic potential can be the most influential force in breaking the cycle of poverty and creating long-term social and economic benefits for their family, their community and the world as a whole.  They just need opportunities to do so.

In 2010, The Coca-Cola Company launched 5by20, an initiative aimed at lifting 5 million women out of poverty by 2020, one woman at a time. 5by20 eliminates some of the critical barriers keeping women from entering and succeeding in the global marketplace by providing access to skills and business training, financial resources and peer-to-peer mentorship to women entrepreneurs around the world. 5by20 empowers and helps women to successfully grow their business and incomes. Their increase in earnings has a ripple effect throughout the community, bringing new prosperity not only to their families but to the community as a whole. Since 5b20’s launch in 2010, the program has reached more than 1.2 million women across 60 countries.

This inspiring short video, “Chain of Inspiration,” honors the strong women we work with the 5by20 initiative. 

Meet the artisans

From farmers to distributors, retailers to recyclers, these amazing women are part of the Coca-Cola Company’s 5by20 program. The women artisans create beautiful, one-of-a-kind handmade products such as jewelry, handbags and home decor from upcycled packaging, like Coca-Cola labels and pull tabs which are often discarded as waste, and in turn, elevate themselves, their families, and their communities.

Here is a slideshow of some of the 5by20 women artisans in the Amazon. 

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“If you want to see things happen at a global level, start at the village level. Give women the tools and education and they will drive the change”. – Melinda Gates

Simply put, women are the driving force of promoting change. They just need the opportunity. The Coca-Cola Company has found an amazing, impactful way to help woman at all stages of the supply chain.

Here is a short video introducing some of the wonderful women who benefit from the Coca-Cola Company’s 5by20 program: 

The 5by20 artisans are diverting packaging from landfill sites and improving the livelihoods of thousands of women. Here are some of the creative ways the women recreate beautiful products:

The Coletivo Piraquet Handbag (made in Brazil)

The scales of the ancient Pirarucu fish, found in the rivers and lakes of the Amazon, provided inspiration for this elegant bag. Recycled PET scales are hand seen onto mesh to create this delicate beauty.

The scales of the ancient Pirarucu fish, found in the rivers and lakes of the Amazon, provided inspiration for this elegant bag. Recycled PET scales are hand seen onto mesh to create this delicate beauty.


Bottle Cap Purse (made in Turkey)

5by20 Coca-Cola

Recycled bottle caps make this handy purse even more special.

Some of the products I received in my box from the Coca-Cola Company 5by20 program:

Acacia Creations Soda Can Giraffe (made in Kenya), The Classic Flower (made in Mexicao) and the PCF Narrow Ring-Pull Bracelet (made in the Philippines). All these products are handmade using recycled aluminum cans or ring-pulls.


This International Women’s Day on Wednesday, March 8th– and every day – let’s celebrates women and the extraordinary roles they hold in their communities, families and places of work.

Additional resources:

To learn more, please visit #5by20. To visit the 5by20 merchandise shop, click here.

Meet 5by20 Artisans Jocelyn and Marlene – An inspiring success story of how two women living in the Philippines and in Brazil lifted themselves out of poverty and improved their lives with the help of the 5by20 program.


      1. Unfortunately I didn’t see women artisans in Nepal, just women business owners who get training from Coca-Cola’s 5by20 program. Great post!

  1. Hello Nicole,
    What an eye opening post and such a good news story. It’s an important initiative that needs to be shared for us all to become aware of what is occurring to make the world a better place. Thanks to kind people such as yourself. So thank you! And the art work using the discarded and recycled materials is genius.
    Great post that teaches and inspires. xx

    1. Thanks Di! I had heard about the work Coca-Cola was doing from a friend who wrote about the program. It is wonderful especially how women use parts of the cans that would normally be thrown away. The giraffe is really amazing. Thanks for reading!

      1. It’s all such awesome information sharing isn’t it Nicole! Yes, the giraffe is certainly wonderful from talented artists 🙂

    1. I only learned about it from another fellow social good blogger I know. It is wonderful that corporations are taking on these initiatives. To empower these women with opportunities to succeed! It is fantastic.

  2. What a great project. I always like hearing when corporations are giving back, significantly, as this doesn’t happen as often as it should. Thanks for the post! And I love that first purse, ahhh! :)))

  3. What amazing work. how can i join? I’m from Tanzania working with Maasai women Organization that empowering pastoral women and girls. it envisions an improved, sustainable livelihood for these women by offering education,health and economic empowerment programs to over 5000 maasai women. I really admire the project and want to connect the women whom i”m working with, since they have also doing Maasai beaded Traditional handcrafts.

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