Creating economic opportunity

Walmart began as a dream and with a simple investment – while still wearing his Army uniform, Sam Walton stood in front of the store he bought with $5,000 of his savings and a loan from his in-laws – and that first store has grown into the world’s largest retail company, creating economic opportunity for millions of people around the world in retail and retail supply chains. Not only do we provide jobs and advancement opportunities for more than 2 million of our own associates, but also, we spend billions every year with our suppliers. They in turn provide jobs for millions around the world in farms, factories, distribution centers, construction sites and corporate offices.

Since the late 1980s, globalization and technology have led to an unprecedented increase in global prosperity, with more people living longer and gaining greater access to necessities like clean water and primary education. As a result, the world has witnessed a decline in income disparity across countries. At the same time, income inequality within countries – both in developed and developing nations – has increased, while overall global economic growth has slowed.*

As the world’s largest retailer, Walmart is working with others to use our strengths – our jobs, our purchase orders, our company voice, the convening power of our brand and our philanthropic investments – to create a more inclusive economic system that increases mobility and growth in countries around the world.

Doing so benefits our business as well as society. By increasing inclusion and accelerating upward job mobility, we aim to strengthen the productivity and retention of our associates, improving customer experience. Supporting a diverse, forward-looking group of suppliers and small businesses spurs product innovation and sales growth. In society, we hope our efforts will accelerate advancement and improve the livelihoods of millions of people in retail and product supply chains, from entry-level to upper management positions, all while helping local economies grow.

We’re striving to make this vision a reality through a set of programs that fall within two main priorities: Enhancing the economic mobility and inclusion of workers in retail and its product supply chains, by 

  • Providing ladders of opportunity for Walmart associates
  • Promoting increased mobility in the retail sector beyond Walmart 
  • Supporting integration of U.S. veterans into the civilian workforce 
  • Empowering women in product supply chains 

Promoting the growth of suppliers, local manufacturing and small businesses, by 

  • Empowering women through sourcing from women-owned businesses 
  • Fostering growth of diverse suppliers
  • Promoting local manufacturing
  • Supporting small business growth