Open Call 2023 was a special one. As Walmart's tenth Open Call, this year's event marked a decade of opportunities for small and medium businesses to become Walmart suppliers, resulting in job creation and manufacturing growth in communities throughout the U.S. Open Call 2023 also occurred during Manufacturing Month, when America celebrates its manufacturers and manufacturing workforce.
"It was great to see over 700 suppliers from all 50 states in Bentonville this week for our tenth Open Call," said Jason Fremstad, Senior Vice President of Supplier Development, Sourcing at Walmart. "Already, more than two-thirds of Walmart's annual product spend is on goods made, grown or assembled in the U.S. With Open Call, Walmart is taking this investment even further."
When finalists weren't pitching, they attended breakout meetings, including sessions with Walmart executives, to learn about pitching best practices and the resources Walmart offers to business owners. Finalists also got to hear from speakers including Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Walmart U.S. President and CEO John Furner, and television host and narrator Mike Rowe.
On the road to Open Call, Walmart embarked on another leg of its "Walmart: Made Local" trailer tour. The tour was a multi-city celebration of Manufacturing Month and the company’s tenth annual Open Call event. On the way to Bentonville, the trailer stopped in Atlanta and Dallas to connect with entrepreneurs and share information on Walmart's commitment. In Atlanta, local media, community members and suppliers joined Walmart's event at the Russell Innovation Center of Entrepreneurship (RICE), where Walmart presented an $800K grant to help RICE continue to support diverse entrepreneurs. In Dallas, the trailer visited the Dallas Small Business Expo, before ending the tour in Bentonville as Open Call began.
You can learn more about Walmart’s commitment to American jobs here.