In 2016, The Coca-Cola Company’s global 5by20 initiative set up shop in Dundee, Scotland. The programme works with local charity Showcase the Street to help women entrepreneurs in the area set up their own catering businesses.

Globally, 5by20 aims to empower 5 million women entrepreneurs by 2020, by providing access to training, financial services and connections. The custom-built Coke Café in Dundee is the perfect location for local women to meet and learn about launching a business in the food and drink industry.

To honour International Women’s Day and celebrate female empowerment, we look at how the 5by20 programme in Dundee is helping women entrepreneurs realise their business ideas.

"Three businesses have already opened since we began the course, so it’s good to see the impact it’s having already!" - Agate Kasmina, programme leader

What does the programme offer?

The course involves inspirational speakers and group support, offering a fantastic opportunity for new entrepreneurs to ask for advice on any topic. Ultimately, the goal is to make the entrepreneurs feel more empowered, not only giving them the skills to run their own businesses, but also to take control of their own lives.

The Coca-Cola Company’s investment has helped create new state-of-the-art kitchen and classroom facilities at Showcase the Street’s complex in Dundee. The local charity runs dance and theatre classes, a choir and various sports sessions for people of all ages and abilities.

Charity leader Fergus Storrier said: “Showcase the Street is extremely grateful and excited to be part of the 5by20 programme. Our work is targeted at making the lives of people in our community better.”

Who’s involved in the programme?

Meet some of the inspirational women involved with the 5by20 programme in Dundee:

Jenny Douglas

Jenny Douglas, 5by20 entrepreneur, Dundee

Jenny has wanted to own to her own business since she was 12. Now she has the courage and the skills as well as the determination and passion, Jenny’s turning her dream of owning her own home-baking café into a reality.

What was your biggest business challenge?

“What feels intimidating about starting my own business is the risk of failure. Giving up my full-time job, giving up that security of income and going it alone.”

What was the most rewarding part of the programme?

“5by20 has helped me understand more of the financial side, and the forecasting and planning, to make it seem less daunting of how to go about that process.”

See how The Coca-Cola Company's 5by20 initiative has helped Jenny to put her dreams into practice:

Agate Kasmina – programme leader

Agate Kasmina, programme leader at the 5by20 Coke Café in Dundee

Agate works for local charity Showcase the Street, which partnered with The Coca-Cola Company to help launch the catering and business course in Dundee. As programme leader, Agate is the woman behind setting up and delivering the course, as well as ensuring everything runs to plan.

What is the biggest business challenge for women?

“There are a lot of challenges that women entrepreneurs face. I think the biggest challenge that women face in business is just feeling confident about their own ideas. A lot of the time they feel like they are pushed back, along with their ideas, so what we’re trying to encourage is feeling confident about your idea and taking it forward.”

What is the most rewarding part of the programme for you?

“It was a lot of hard work, but it was completely enjoyable. Having the opportunity to meet and work with plenty of inspirational women, and see their success first-hand, was wonderful.”

Read more about Agate’s insights into the 5by20 course

Mandy Martin

Mandy Martin, 5by20 entrepreneur, Dundee

Mandy comes from a family of entrepreneurs, so there was no shortage of inspiration for her to set up her own business. The Coca-Cola Company's 5by20 initiative provided the support for Mandy to iron out the finer details of her business plan, including invaluable advice from an employment law solicitor.

What was your biggest business challenge?

“Professionally, as with many new businesses, the challenge is getting your name and brand out there in the right way. It’s about making sure people know who I am and know what I have to offer. That’s the major challenge I’ll be facing in the early stages of running my business.”

What was the most rewarding part of the programme?

“The guest speakers and experts provided invaluable knowledge and really helped fill the gaps I had. I’m particularly grateful to the employment law solicitor who highlighted some important things I need to get sorted soon!”

See Mandy’s advice for aspiring women entrepreneurs

"If you’re thinking of joining The Coca-Cola Company's 5by20 programme, go for it! You have nothing to lose and an awful lot to gain." - Mandy Martin, 5by20 entrepreneur, Dundee

Trish MacGloaneI - 5by20 entrepreneur, Dundee

Trish MacGloaneI, 5by20 entrepreneur, Dundee

Trish heard about 5by20 after networking with other small business start-ups in Dundee. Inspired by business leaders such as Karen Brady, Trish decided to set up her own business after working in the public sector for 20 years. She loves creative thinking and is excited about the future.

What was your biggest business challenge?

“In business, I think women face very personal struggles, from the guilt about spending less time with their kids, to balancing home and work life. Finding time for everybody, alongside devoting your time to being committed to your business, can be a difficult balancing act.”

What was the most rewarding part of the programme?

“I think the most useful thing I learned over the 6 weeks is to be aware that I don’t have to do everything myself and that I can always seek advice and gain support from peers and from business mentors if need be.”

Find out how 5by20 helped Trish to get set up in business