by Ray Hayes

Walmart India launches the third edition of its Women Entrepreneurship Development Program (WEDP) which aims to grow and develop business skills for women-owned businesses in the country. WEDP was enacted by WeConnnect International in April, 2016 and has helped more than 90 women-owned businesses increase their knowledge in business, operation, sales, marketing, and more.  This year will be the first time the program will extend to women entrepreneurs in the fields of manufacturing and service.

While participating in the program, each representative undergoes a variety of training opportunities, mentorship and technical support which is designed to cater to the needs of each business. More than 100 different women-owned businesses will be represented at this year’s launch with 40 attending classroom sessions and 60 attending virtually.

Krish Iyer, president & CEO, Walmart India recently spoke about the company’s third edition launch, “Walmart is deeply committed to women’s economic empowerment. WEDP is a flagship programme designed to help women entrepreneurs become more competitive, achieve higher levels of business growth and become resilient in today’s dynamic business environment. Over the years, this programme 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.”

Walmart officially launched the Global Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) initiative in September of 2011 which is a five year plan to use its power and resources to ameliorate women around the world. As part of the initiative, more than $20 billion has been committed to source women-owned businesses. Reports indicated that, “Of the $13.94 billion total supplier diversity economic impact, $4.3 billion was directly sourced in products and services from WOBs.”

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