Unternehmerin / Mikrofinanzierung / Frau / Empowerment / Corporate Social Responsibility / Entwicklungsfinanzierung
Global corporations are increasingly involved in gender and development politics in the Global South. This book focuses on this tendency to interrogate the proposed win-win relationship between corporate profit opportunities and the economic advancement of women in marginalized economic positions. The Coca-Cola Company’s 5by20 program has won broad recognition for its global reach and ambitious goal: to economically empower five million female micro-entrepreneurs across its supply chain before the end of 2020. Based on situated engagements with program implementers and participants in Mexico and South Africa, the study moves beyond the unequivocally positive effects conveyed by the program’s rhetoric. It examines the appropriation of social values to strengthen the brand; the use of self-help psychology to enhance entrepreneurial conduct and exempt weak economic results; and the recasting of women’s precarious labor in terms of entrepreneurship – which conceals structural causes of poverty and impediments of sustainable business development. Providing unique insights into the premises and effects of corporate solutions to gender inequality in the Global South, the book contributes to debates on the relations between neoliberal capitalist expansion and feminist emancipatory endeavors.