What does an income of Rs. 4000/month mean to a rural household? Many things-being able to buy the month’s rations, sending the children to school and being able to contribute towards the overall requirements of the family. The amount means even more when it is being earned by the women of the households. That is exactly what more than 3,000 rural women entrepreneurs are doing by serving small cups of chilled Coca-Cola at neighbourhood kiosks.

The initiative taken by Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt Ltd to setup local kiosks or ‘Splash Bars’ in rural centres in India is indeed a unique concept. Ice-cold Coca-Cola is dispensed from a vending machine into small 3-5 oz. cups at these Splash Bars, which also serve as centres of social gathering. Neighbours, friends and families can meet and greet each other or have a casual conversation while being served economical beverages. Meanwhile, the women entrepreneurs operating the Splash Bars can make enough money to provide for their families and take pride in being able to stand on their own two feet.

Since the launch of the initiative in 2013 in Gujarat, more than 30,000 Splash Bars have been set up at various villages in India, and are now selling more than 1.5 million Cola-Cola beverages every single day. With a goal of reaching more the 600,000 villages, the initiative also includes providing training to these women entrepreneurs in how to run their business.

Not only have these Splash Bars helped make beverages more affordable to rural India, they have empowered and enhanced the lives of these women. As part of the company’s 5by20 initiative, the lives of more than 1.2 million have been transformed. This is a simple, yet powerful story that highlights how empowering women can lead to the welfare of households and communities at large.