Gender equality and women development are the Coca‑Cola System’s priorities in a field of sustainable development. We want to provide economic opportunities for 5 million women around the world.

To achieve that, since 2010, the program 5by20 is in force – the global Coca‑Cola System’s initiative in gender equality. The Coca‑Cola Foundation gave a grant to support women in farming, agritourism and craftmanship in Brest region’s project, as a part of 5by20 program. The new project was launched in the end of 2019, and this is how it is developing.

The practical part of the project started in January with the “Business from zero: main trends and juridical aspects in the spheres of agritourism, craftmanship and agriculture” training. It is organized by Belarusian Association “Country Escape” in partnership with Brest regional executive committee with financial support of The Coca‑Cola Foundation.

“Furthermost this project is aimed to support female entrepreneurship in countryside”, - says Valeria Klitsounova, the candidate in agricultural sciences and the Chairman of the Board of BA “Country Escape”. “There are women who are planning to work on the project in their spare time from the main work, and those for whom this project will be a main job. There are jobless women participating in the project, who want to set off their own business and women who have already succeeded and want to achieve new heights in their already existing businesses. I like the fact that the participants are of different ages: young girls and elderly women. All of them are different but all with shinning eyes and plenty of ideas.”

The first trainings “Business from zero: main trends and juridical aspects in the spheres of agritourism, craftmanship and agriculture” were held in Baranovichi, Kobrin and Pinsk. More than 300 participants from all over the Brest region joined the trainings.

US Professors’ presentations, legal advice and inspiring experience

Within the framework of the project 9 offline-trainings and 7 webinars will be held. The trainings are run by professional mentors: they lecture on how to build a business-plan, how to organize one’s work and how to promote goods and services on the Internet.

Professor of George Mason University (US) Susan Slocum speaks about segmentation and tourist motivation. She is a researcher in sustainable tourism field and knows how tourists make decisions regarding trips. So, she is sharing tips on how to consider potential wishes of the guests.

A lawyer Alesiya Terebey, Brest regional college of advocates, helps to set off a business in compliance with the local legislation. She teaches women entrepreneurs legal literacy and gives pieces of advice to which decrees and laws they should pay special attention and in which cases they should be registered as a legal entity.

Ilya Davydov, the founder of “Family manufacture Etno.by”, demonstrates twists and turns of the craftmanship business on a personal example. He talks openly about all the steps of craftsman’s activity to the audience – from making high-demanded products to forming a reputation, promoting, sales, delivery and keeping the customers.

Belarusian farm stay experience in developing creative tour products presents Valeria Klitsounova, the Chairman of the Board of BA “Country Escape”. She tells how to touch one’s soul and how to leave pleasant impressions without huge financial expenses. The best examples of women entrepreneurship in Brest region are presented by the hostesses of peasant farms and farm stays “Alesin Sad”, “Polesskiye traditsii”, “Viliya-Agro”, “Studinka”, “na Zarechnoy ulitse”, “Polskiy Mayontak”, a tourist cluster “Muhovetska Kumora”.

Besides the mentors’ presentations, additional individual advisory sessions are organized for women participating in the project. After the trainings all the participating in the project women get acquainted to each other, share ideas and come across fellow-thinkers. It is necessary for the project to make a community of opportunistic women of Brest region.

Support to the most perspective

Emergent women entrepreneurs want to start own business in various spheres: production of clay, ceramic and wooden household items, management of a farm stay and development of ecological tourism, creating a farm hold, opening a photo studio, a confectionery and a museum.

“The most demanded spheres of business among women from Brest region are cultivating of food and decorative plants, producing jam, zefir and other confectionary goods, sewing clothes and household items, opening a farm stay, recreation and rest organization, carrying out various craft workshops”, – says Valeria Klitsounova.

During the ongoing project 500 participants will get the necessary knowledge, as well as make plans about their future business project. This spring, the best 50 initiatives will be shortlisted. For projects’ realization, authors will be provided all the necessary equipment, materials, and advice on ideas implementation. Presentation of the first results is planned for the end of 2020.