April 22, 2019
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Walmart Successfully Completes 3rd Edition of Women Entrepreneurship Development Program

·         Women Entrepreneurship Development Program is an initiative to equip women-owned businesses (WOBs) with professional and life skills to build robust and sustainable businesses  

·         In its third edition, 75 high potential WOBs graduated from the Women Entrepreneurship Development Program 

·         40 WOBs were selected to attend classroom training while rest participated in virtual training sessions on select modules 

·         Supported by Walmart, WEConnect International led the overall coordination and conceptualization of the program, selection and assessment of participants while the Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII) customized the training curriculum and imparted the training 

New Delhi, January 29, 2019: Walmart India, the wholly owned subsidiary of Walmart Inc., today announced closure of the Third Edition of the Women Entrepreneurship Development Program (WEDP) with 75 high potential, women-owned businesses (WOBs) graduating from the program. Training was delivered to 40 WOBs in classrooms and 35 WOBs attended the virtual sessions. The cohort represented both product categories, such as edible cutlery, eco-friendly stationary and gift items, apparel, herbal cosmetics, spices, processed food, tea, nutrition bars, as well as services sectors such as AI consultancy, energy efficient solutions, travel management solutions and research and insights, among others. 

The graduation ceremony was attended by women entrepreneurs, representatives from industry associations and the NGO sector.  

WEDP aimed at enhancing the participants’ skills and capability to build robust and sustainable businesses. Supported by Walmart, WEConnect International led the overall coordination and conceptualization of the program, selection and assessment of participants while the Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII) customized the training curriculum and imparted the training. During the three-month program, the WOBs underwent a structured capacity building training, mentoring and technical support customized to the needs of their businesses. These training modules covered all key areas of business including replenishment, logistics, supply chain, product marketing, financial planning, resource management, marketing, finance, business strategy, operations, legal and compliance. The program was a successful blend of instructor-led training with faculty from EDII, industry experts, subject matter experts from Walmart and included a visit to the Best Price Modern Wholesale Stores owned and operated by Walmart India, to provide the WOBs added insights into the format and store operations.  

Krish Iyer, President & CEO, Walmart India, said, “I am pleased to announce the successful completion and graduation of high potential women business owners in the 3rd edition of the Women Entrepreneurship Development Program (WEDP). Walmart is deeply committed to women’s economic empowerment and this year, we harnessed the power of technology to reach even more women entrepreneurs. We congratulate the graduates of this program and wish them success in their entrepreneurial journey.

Walmart is committed to supporting efforts to empower women around the world and further strengthen the foundation where WOBs can succeed and grow. In September 2011, Walmart launched the Global Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) initiative, a five-year initiative to use its unique size and scale to improve the lives of under-served women around the world. As part of the initiative, Walmart committed to source $20 billion from women for its U.S. business and double sourcing from WOBs internationally. While the commitment has concluded, we continue to source from WOBs.

WEDP is a flagship program designed to help women entrepreneurs become more competitive, achieve higher levels of business growth and become resilient in today’s dynamic business environment. It was launched in 2016 and over the last three editions, this program has touched nearly150 women entrepreneurs directly and several more indirectly. The program has played an important role in bringing diversity to the retail supply chain in India by creating a pipeline of women suppliers for the industry as well as for Walmart India and has gradually scaled up with an increase in the number of participants every year. 

Edith Cecchini, Regional Director for Asia, WEConnect International, said, “During the program, the women entrepreneurs participated in a structured capacity building training and mentorship opportunities to support business growth. In addition to the training, which included life skills, social media marketing, negotiation skills, and other topics, the participants become part of a community that will strengthen their professional and personal networks in the future, too. We are thrilled to support Walmart in their efforts to train and connect women-owned businesses in India.”  

“On the whole, women entrepreneurship development programs help enterprises to graduate from being basic income-generating projects to sustainable businesses at preservation levels, and then gradually to enterprises that are focused on growth and raise expectations for economic development in India. The third edition was very well curated, and I am glad we could share the responsibility as knowledge & training partner with Walmart & WEConnect International,” said Dr. Sunil Shukla, Director, Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII) Ahmedabad. 

About Walmart 

Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, nearly 265 million customers and members visit our more than 11,200 stores under 55 banners in 27 countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2018 revenue of $500.3 billion, Walmart employs over 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmartand on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart

About Walmart India: 

Wal-Mart India Private Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Walmart Inc., the world’s leading retailer renowned for its efficiency and expertise in logistics, supply chain management and sourcing. Walmart India owns and operates 23 Best Price Modern Wholesale stores in 9 States across India and has integrated omni-channel in all stores. It has opened 2 Fulfillment Centres in India. The mission of Best Price is “Enabling businesses to prosper…every single member”. To enter and purchase from Best Price Stores, it is mandatory to become a member. Members can belong to different business categories such as Resellers (‘Kirana Stores’); Offices and Institutions (O&I); and Hotels, Restaurants and Caterers (HoReCa). The assortment, service and store layout are customized to the specific needs of members who can walk into a Best Price stores and source high quality products in quantities they need and at the time they require. More about the company at www.wal-martindia.in and follow on twitter @walmartindia. 

About WEConnect International in India 

WEConnect International in India is supporting its Corporate Advisory member Walmart with it’s Women Economic Empowerment initiative- Women Entrepreneurship Development Program (WEDP). WEConnect International helps women-owned businesses succeed in global value chains. WEConnect International identifies, educates, registers, and certifies women’s business enterprises based outside of the U.S. that are at least 51% owned, managed, and controlled by one or more women, and then connects them with multinational corporate buyers. Certified women are eligible to use the Certified Women-Owned Logo. We believe in a world in which women have the same opportunity as their male counterparts to design and implement business solutions that create wealth and ensure the sustainable prosperity of their communities. 

Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India: 

Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII), an autonomous and not-for-profit institute, set up in 1983, is sponsored by apex financial institutions – the IDBI Bank Ltd., IFCI Ltd., ICICI Bank Ltd. and the State Bank of India (SBI). To pursue its mission, EDII has helped set up 12 state-level exclusive Entrepreneurship Development Centres and Institutes. In order to broaden the frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, EDII has established a Centre for Research in Entrepreneurship Education and Development (CREED), to investigate into a range of issues surrounding small and medium enterprise sector, and establish a network of researchers and trainers by conducting a biennial seminar on entrepreneurship education and research. 

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