Sometimes the price of doing the same thing is higher than the price of changing. Product suppliers all over the world had to calculate this cost earlier in the year as they rapidly adapted their businesses to the changing needs of the global pandemic. And by adapting quickly, they were able to help their employees, their families and their communities in a tough year.
While it’s true that big manufacturers have stepped up, small and middle-sized businesses faced even bigger challenges. For many, the future of their business was at stake, but as Walmart suppliers, these businesses didn’t have to face these new challenges alone.
As a global company, Walmart has development programs in many countries to help suppliers build their businesses and adapt to changing retail markets. These programs help suppliers and entrepreneurs strengthen their businesses through training, mentorship, connection to local supply chains and help with exports. They also open up opportunities to sell these and other products in our stores and markets, encouraging healthy and sustainable business growth.
In India, Walmart’s Vriddhi supports 50,000 micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) while Flipkart’s Samarth supplier development program helps support over 600,000 micro-enterprises across India. Walmart’s Central and South American small and midsized business (SMB) programs help to provide training and resources in developing entrepreneurial skills. And in South Africa, Massmart’s Supplier Development Programme works directly with suppliers to help source materials and develop the capabilities to produce what’s needed.
Many of Walmart’s suppliers around the world saw opportunities to help others by shifting their businesses to make masks, visors, hand sanitizer and even foot-operated washing stations.
Here are just a few of their stories:
India – Earning a Living with Upcycled Masks