Leticia Hernandez woke up one morning with an idea: if her gourmet fried plantains really were “the best in Guatemala,” as her friends said, why shouldn’t more people have the chance to try them? It was time to stop just making them in her kitchen and start a business so she could share them with more people.
Through Una Mano para Crecer (A Hand to Grow), a Walmart social responsibility program in Latin America that helps develop small-and-medium sized businesses, Leticia received training in leadership, management, organization, computer skills and conflict management, equipping her to make that idea a reality.
Leticia is now a Walmart supplier and the employer of 9 other women. Nine women who, until they started working for Leticia, were unemployed and struggling to support their families.
“Through what Walmart does for my company, other women get helped,” she said. “They have a job, and sometimes other members of their family can get jobs. With this, we help their economies all year round as Walmart buys our products.”
In January 2011, Leticia was honored as the “Supplier of Excellence” in the small- and medium-sized supplier category. Thanks to A Hand to Grow, Leticia feels “fulfilled as a businesswoman, free to plan my future and my family’s future knowing that I own a business that has total support from Walmart to continue growing.”