Program to Strengthen Women’s Business Networks throughout the Region
BENTONVILLE, Ark., March 4, 2010 – The Walmart Foundation today announced a $350,000 donation to the Vital Voices Latin America and Caribbean Women’s Business Network.The program seeks to strengthen women’s business networks, provide opportunities for women to enhance their skills and economic independence, and promote a culture of female entrepreneurship in the region.
“At Walmart, we are committed to providing opportunities for women around the world,” said Doug McMillon, president and CEO – Walmart International. “Through this program, we aim to expand the number of women in business and advance the role of women in society.”
Each network will offer mentoring programs and leadership training, host speakers programs through which business experts share knowledge and experience, deliver online business education programs and include an online peer learning and idea exchange community.
"We are so pleased to be partnering with Walmart as we launch this exciting initiative to train and mentor thousands of emerging businesswomen and entrepreneurs who will advance their nations and build stronger economies in Latin America and the Caribbean," said Alyse Nelson, president and CEO, Vital Voices. "We know that investing in women is not only the right thing to do, it's the smart thing to do."
More than 3,000 women are expected to benefit from the program in its first year.
"I am proud that Walmart is part of this important effort," said Eduardo Solórzano, president and CEO of Walmart Latin America. "This network will leverage resources across Latin America to help women improve their economic situation, support their families, and play a leadership role in their communities."
According to the United Nations Population Fund, of the world’s one billion poorest people, three fifths are women and girls. Of the 960 million adults in the world who cannot read, two thirds are women.
About Philanthropy at Walmart
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. Through its philanthropic programs and partnerships, the Walmart Foundation funds initiatives focused on creating opportunities in education, workforce development, economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness. From February 1, 2008 through January 31, 2009, Walmart – and its domestic and international foundations – gave more than $423 million in cash and in-kind gifts globally. To learn more, visit www.walmartfoundation.org.
About Vital Voices
Vital Voices Global Partnership is a leading NGO that identifies, trains, mentors, and empowers emerging women leaders and social entrepreneurs around the globe, enabling them to create a better world. Vital Voices works with women defending human rights, expanding economic opportunities and strengthening government and civil society by equipping them with the capacity, connections, and credibility they need to unlock their potential. Since 1997, the Vital Voices staff and team of over 1,000 partners and pro-bono experts and leaders, including senior government, corporate and NGO executives, have trained and mentored more than 8,000 emerging women leaders from 127 countries. Vital Voices has a four star Charity Navigator rating, awarded to charities that exceed industry standards and outperform other organizations in their cause.