Around 5,000 women have undergone the Sari-Sari Store Training and Access to Resources (STAR) program, a partnership between the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and Coca-Cola Philippines on Wednesday morning.

The STAR program provides women sari-sari store owners access to additional capital and alternative financial services; guides them in planning and managing their businesses; promotes gender sensitivity in homes and in the community; provides peer mentoring; and links them up to a business network.

According to TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva, some 34,258 people from 43 locations across the country have benefitted from the partnership between the government and the private sector.

Coca-Cola Philippines President Diego Granizo meanwhile said that the STAR program is part of the company’s global initiative to economically empower some 5 million women by the year 2020.

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