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EDUCATION

Walmart wraps up 3rd edition of Women Entrepreneurship Devpt Programme
Wednesday, 30 January, 2019, 12 : 00 PM [IST]
Our Bureau, Bengaluru
Walmart India, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Walmart Inc., closed the third essay of the Women Entrepreneurship Development Programme (WEDP) with 75 high-potential, women-owned businesses (WOBs) graduating from the programme.
 
Training was delivered to 40 WOBs in classrooms and 35 WOBs attended the virtual sessions. The cohort represented both product categories, such as edible cutlery, spices, processed food, tea, nutrition bars, as well as services sectors such as AI (artificial intelligence) consultancy, energy-efficient solutions, travel management solutions and research and insights, among others.
 
The graduation ceremony was attended by women entrepreneurs, representatives from industry associations and the NGO (non-governmental organisation) sector.  
 
WEDP aimed at enhancing the participants’ skills and capability to build robust and sustainable businesses. Supported by Walmart, WEConnect International led the overall coordination and conceptualisation of the programme and the selection and assessment of participants, while the Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII) customised the training curriculum and imparted the training.

During the three-month programme, the WOBs underwent structured capacity-building training, mentoring and technical support customised to the needs of their businesses. These training modules covered all key areas of business including replenishment, logistics, supply chain, product marketing, financial planning, resource management, marketing, finance, business strategy, operations, legal and compliance.

The programme was a successful blend of instructor-led training with faculty from EDII, industry experts, subject matter experts from Walmart and included a visit to the best price modern wholesale stores owned and operated by Walmart India, to provide the WOBs added insights into the format and store operations.  
 
“We harnessed the power of technology to reach even more women entrepreneurs. We congratulate the graduates of this programme and wish them success in their entrepreneurial journey,” stated Krish Iyer, president and chief executive officer, Walmart India.
 
In September 2011, Walmart launched the Global Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) initiative, a five-year initiative to use its unique size and scale to improve the lives of under-served women around the world. As part of the initiative, it committed to source $20 billion from women for its US business and double sourcing from WOBs internationally. While the commitment has concluded, we continue to source from WOBs.
 
WEDP is a flagship programme designed to help women entrepreneurs become more competitive, achieve higher levels of business growth and become resilient in today’s dynamic business environment. It was launched in 2016 and over the last three editions, this programme has touched nearly150 women entrepreneurs directly and several more indirectly. The programme has played an important role in bringing diversity to the retail supply chain in India by creating a pipeline of women suppliers for the industry as well as for Walmart India and has gradually scaled up with an increase in the number of participants every year.
 
Edith Cecchini, regional director, Asia, WEConnect International, said, “The women entrepreneurs participated in a structured capacity building training and mentorship opportunities to support business growth. It included life skills, social media marketing, negotiation skills, and other topics that will strengthen their professional and personal networks in the future, too.”
 
“On the whole, women entrepreneurship development programmes help enterprises to graduate from being basic income-generating projects to sustainable businesses at preservation levels, and then gradually to enterprises that are focussed on growth and raise expectations for economic development in India,” said Sunil Shukla, director, Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII), Ahmedabad.
 
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