Walmart India has announced the launch of Walmart’s third edition of the Women Entrepreneurship Development Program (WEDP). In its third year, the program aims to continue to enhance the skills and capacities of women entrepreneurs with 100 women-owned businesses (WOBs) participating in this edition of the training, nearly doubling the total number of participants. Since the launch of WEDP in April 2016, 93 high potential WOBs have participated in the program.
The program is implemented by WEConnect International. During the program, 100 WOBs will undergo capacity building training, mentoring and technical support customized to the needs of their businesses. Of the 100 participants, 40 will attend classroom sessions and 60 will participate in virtual sessions. These training modules will cover key areas of business: marketing, finance, business strategy, operations, legal and compliance, social networking, and others.
Walmart has opened WEDP to aspiring WOBs from the services sector for the first time since its launch in 2016. WOBs in both product manufacturing and services sectors with a presence in Andhra Pradesh, Delhi-NCR, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh are invited to apply.
Krish Iyer, President & CEO, Walmart India, said, “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. Over the years, this 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.”
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. Of the $13.94 billion total supplier diversity economic impact, $4.3 billion was directly sourced in products and services from WOBs.
WEConnect International is leading the overall coordination and conceptualization of the training program, as well as selecting and assessing the needs of the participants.
Edith Cecchini, Regional Director for Asia, WEConnect International, said, “During the program, the women entrepreneurs will participate in a structured capacity building training and mentorship opportunities to support business growth. In addition to the training, which will include life skills, social media marketing, negotiation skills, and other topics, the participants will become part of a community that will strengthen their professional and personal networks. We are thrilled to support Walmart in their efforts to train and connect women-owned businesses in India.