Entrepreneurship Industry News

Walmart pledges support to women-owned businesses in India

New Delhi, Apr 13 (PTI) With an aim to encourage women entrepreneurs, Walmart India has gone an extra mile to support them by imparting professional and soft skill training.

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The Indian arm of the US-based Walmart Stores today held a graduation event here, wherein 32 women entrepreneurs graduated from its Walmart Women Entrepreneurship Development Programme (WEDP) that aims to enhance their skills, capability and sustainability.

At the graduation event, Walmart announced the projects continuation into the second year.

“If you look at the gender diversity or gender equality, India is not at a very good place. The WEF data is there… we are 87th as far as gender equality is concerned,” Walmart India President and CEO Krish Iyer told reporters at a select media briefing here.

It had taken the 32 women on-board last year, after launching the development programme for women-owned businesses in the segments such as food, handicrafts and seasonal decor, among others.

Emphasising on the need to promote women entrepreneurs in India, Iyer said: “It is the responsibility of public sector as well as private sector to provide the level playing field to women and provide equal opportunity and thats what we are tring to do”.

As far as economic equality is concerned, we are 136 out of 144 countries, Iyer noted.

The company works with non-profit organisation WEConnect International and Vrutti, a centre for sustainable livelihood, to implement the training programme.

The criteria for selecting women entrepreneurs are that the business should be 51 per cent owned and controlled by one or more women, have a minimum turnover of Rs 10 lakh and should be in existence for three years.

Noting that women entrepreneurs contribute to the social development of the country, Iyer said: “I dont call it just the womens economic empowerment, I would say it an economic and social empowerment, because when women become entrepreneurs, the social status in the country also goes up.

The company has about 50 women suppliers and nine have been on-boarded with recently concluded programme, out of the with 32 who have been trained.

It identifies women-owned businesses as future Walmart India suppliers as the products fits the assortment apart from meeting all the other parameters to becoming a suppliers.

Read More: indiatoday.intoday.in