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Caterpillar Contribution Helps Open Doors to Women's Entrepreneurship Centers in Africa

Investment marks first private-public partnership between Caterpillar and U.S. State Department

PEORIA, Ill., June 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- A woman in sub-Saharan Africa is passionate. She's smart. She's innovative. Often times, however, she's not given the chance – or the right tools – to take her ideas and turn them into a way of life. Through a $1 million investment from Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) and the Caterpillar Foundation and an investment from the U.S. Department of State, today marks the opening of the first of three women's business centers in sub-Saharan Africa to provide assistance to help women entrepreneurs. This first center is located in Zambia; a center in Kenya and another in West Africa will open at later dates.

In partnership with the U.S. Department of State's African Women's Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP) and the Women's Entrepreneurial Centers of Resources, Education, Access, and Training for Economic Empowerment (WECREATE) project, these women's entrepreneurship centers will advance gender equality and address entrepreneurship skill barriers faced by women and girls. This investment in the centers marks the first ever private-public partnership between the U.S. State Department, Caterpillar and StartUp Cup, an organization that provides global end-to-end solutions for accelerating entrepreneurial ventures, creating jobs and building local and regional entrepreneurship ecosystems. StartUp Cup will be the implementing partner managing the centers.

"The Caterpillar Foundation is focused on building sustainable, thriving communities around the world," said Caterpillar Foundation President Michele Sullivan. "These centers will help put women on the path to prosperity by helping them develop the skills they need to run successful businesses and become economically self-sufficient. Our hope is that these centers are more than just brick and mortar buildings, but rather a place for families to go for the skills and resources they need to flourish. These centers can help families become stronger, because when we invest in women and girls, the men and boys in a community will also benefit with additional opportunities. Only together can we tackle the root causes of poverty. When economies grow, everyone benefits."

StartUp Cup estimates more than 7,000 jobs will be created in the next two years due to these centers, which will provide programs focused on financial services, startup and small business loans, networking and access to technology. Mentoring will also be a component of the programs, developing more than 600 mentors and coaches for women.

The Caterpillar Foundation continues working to alleviate poverty worldwide, including on the African continent, through a series of investments. Since 2010 alone, corporate social innovation has driven the Caterpillar Foundation to invest $30 million in African programs that address access to clean water, energy, empowering girls and women and microfinance, as well as food and shelter. 

About Caterpillar
For 90 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making sustainable progress possible and driving positive change on every continent. Customers turn to Caterpillar to help them develop infrastructure, energy and natural resource assets. With 2014 sales and revenues of $55.184 billion, Caterpillar is the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. The company principally operates through its three product segments – Construction Industries, Resource Industries and Energy & Transportation - and also provides financing and related services through its Financial Products segment. For more information, visit caterpillar.com. To connect with us on social media, visit caterpillar.com/social-media.

Forward-looking Statements
Certain statements in this press release relate to future events and expectations and are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as "believe," "estimate," "will be," "will," "would," "expect," "anticipate," "plan," "project," "intend," "could," "should" or other similar words or expressions often identify forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements regarding our outlook, projections, forecasts or trend descriptions. These statements do not guarantee future performance, and we do not undertake to update our forward-looking statements.

Caterpillar's actual results may differ materially from those described or implied in our forward-looking statements based on a number of factors, including, but not limited to: (i) global and regional economic conditions and economic conditions in the industries we serve; (ii) government monetary or fiscal policies and infrastructure spending; (iii) commodity price changes, component price increases, fluctuations in demand for our products or significant shortages of component products; (iv) disruptions or volatility in global financial markets limiting our sources of liquidity or the liquidity of our customers, dealers and suppliers; (v) political and economic risks, commercial instability and events beyond our control in the countries in which we operate; (vi) failure to maintain our credit ratings and potential resulting increases to our cost of borrowing and adverse effects on our cost of funds, liquidity, competitive position and access to capital markets; (vii) our Financial Products segment's risks associated with the financial services industry; (viii) changes in interest rates or market liquidity conditions; (ix) an increase in delinquencies, repossessions or net losses of Cat Financial's customers; (x) new regulations or changes in financial services regulations; (xi) a failure to realize, or a delay in realizing, all of the anticipated benefits of our acquisitions, joint ventures or divestitures; (xii) international trade policies and their impact on demand for our products and our competitive position; (xiii) our ability to develop, produce and market quality products that meet our customers' needs; (xiv) the impact of the highly competitive environment in which we operate on our sales and pricing; (xv) failure to realize all of the anticipated benefits from initiatives to increase our productivity, efficiency and cash flow and to reduce costs; (xvi) additional restructuring costs or a failure to realize anticipated savings or benefits from past or future cost reduction actions; (xvii) inventory management decisions and sourcing practices of our dealers and our OEM customers; (xviii) compliance with environmental laws and regulations; (xix) alleged or actual violations of trade or anti-corruption laws and regulations; (xx) additional tax expense or exposure; (xxi) currency fluctuations; (xxii) our or Cat Financial's compliance with financial covenants; (xxiii) increased pension plan funding obligations; (xxiv) union disputes or other employee relations issues; (xxv) significant legal proceedings, claims, lawsuits or government investigations; (xxvi) changes in accounting standards; (xxvii) failure or breach of IT security; (xxviii) adverse effects of unexpected events including natural disasters; and (xxix) other factors described in more detail under "Item 1A. Risk Factors" in our Form 10-K filed with the SEC on February 17, 2015, for the year ended December 31, 2014. 


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SOURCE Caterpillar Inc.

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