• An initiative to equip women with professional and personal skills to build robust businesses
  • 32 women-owned businesses have been selected to undergo capacity building training and mentoring

New Delhi, 27 April 2016: Walmart India, a wholly owned subsidiary of Walmart Stores Inc., launched the 'Entrepreneurship Development Program' for Women-Owned Businesses (WOBs) today by introducing the 32 selected participants of the program at an event, which was attended by female entrepreneurs, retail industry experts, NGOs, government officials and media. The program aims to enhance the participants’ skills, capability and sustainability.

The 32 WOBs announced today comprise the first batch selected for the program, which is being implemented by WEConnect International and Vrutti. During the nine-month program, the women will undergo capacity building training, mentoring and technical support customized to the needs of their businesses.

The program was announced in January 2016 inviting applications from WOBs in different categories located in Andhra Pradesh, Delhi NCR, Telangana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.

Speaking at the launch, Krish Iyer, President & CEO, Walmart India, said, "I am extremely delighted to announce the selection of 32 WOBs under the 'Walmart Women Entrepreneurship Development Program'. This initiative is designed to help women entrepreneurs achieve higher levels of business growth and help make them more competitive and resilient in today’s dynamic business environment. We hope this program will create a pipeline of women suppliers for the industry as well as for Walmart India, as we continue to grow in the country. This is just a modest beginning."

Walmart has an ongoing commitment to empowering women around the world and helping WOBs succeed and grow. In September 2011, Walmart launched its Global Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) initiative, using its unique size and scale to improve the lives of under-served women and help WOBs. As part of the initiative, Walmart committed to source $20 billion from women for its US business and double sourcing from WOBs internationally. Walmart India is continuously looking for long- term associations with potential WOB’s and supporting this important work.

Jenny Grieser, Senior Director of Women’s Economic Empowerment for Walmart, said, "It is an honor to meet these program participants, and we are thrilled with the work Walmart India is doing to economically empower women. Empowering women is the right thing to do for the community and it also makes good business sense. Walmart India’s leadership in empowering women will be an example for other countries around the world."

About Walmart:

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, nearly 260 million customers and members visit our 11,530 stores under 72 banners in 28 countries and e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2016 revenue of $482 billion, Walmart employs more than 2.3 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com on Facebook at http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.

About Walmart India:

Wal-Mart India Private Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of Walmart Stores Inc., the world’s leading retailer renowned for its efficiency and expertise in logistics, supply chain management and sourcing. Walmart India owns and operates 21 Best Price Modern Wholesale stores in 9 States across India. Walmart India has integrated B2B e-commerce in all 21 stores. The Best Price stores offer best prices with unmatched convenience, choice, quality and hygiene. The mission of Best Price is "Enabling businesses to prosper...every single member". To enter and purchase from Best Price stores, it is mandatory to become a member. Members can belong to different business categories such as Resellers (‘Kirana Stores’); Offices and Institutions (O&I); and Hotels, Restaurants and Caterers (HoReCa). The assortment, service and store layout are customized to the specific needs of members who can walk into a Best Price stores and source high quality products in quantities they need and at the time they require.

About WEConnect Inernational:

WEConnect International is a corporate led global non-profit organization that helps women-owned businesses succeed in global value chains. WEConnect International identifies, educates, registers and certifies women’s business enterprises based outside the U.S.A. that are at least 51% owned, managed and controlled by one or more women and connects them with multinational corporate buyers. WEConnect International corporate members represent over US$1 trillion in annual purchasing power. It provides corporate members with a global database of women’s business enterprises and resources required to develop and leverage diverse and inclusive value chains.

About Vrutti:

Vrutti is a Centre for Sustainable Livelihoods, enhancing people’s well-being through knowledge, innovation and transformative actions. Towards this, the organization develops market-based models of development and builds on community strengths to promote a culture of entrepreneurship. We also work across levels and collaborate with partners to implement at scale, generate evidence and share knowledge for adoption. Vrutti engages with various types of organizations: Government, Multi-lateral and bi-lateral agencies, International and National Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs and NGOs), Community Based Organizations (CBOs), Micro-finance institutions (MFIs), Women Owned Businesses (WOBs) and Corporate Organizations.

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For further information, please contact:

Sunita Patnaik, Walmart India: Sunita.Patnaik@walmart.com Srishti Mathur, Perfect Relations: smathur@perfectrelations.com