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Walmart new website empowers women-owned businesses
08
Mar '13
Walmart launched an online destination on Walmart.com that gives shoppers who want to buy unique and interesting products the opportunity to do so while supporting small women-owned businesses around the world.  With each purchase, consumers lift and empower the women behind these products to create new jobs and improve both their own lives and the lives of their families and communities.  At launch, Empowering Women Together will offer shoppers more than 200 items from 19 businesses in nine countries.

“Empowering Women Together is a simple concept; it connects shoppers in the United States with quality products made by women-owned businesses around the world,” said Andrea Thomas, senior vice president, Walmart.  “And in doing that, it helps achieve so much more.  Through Walmart’s Empowering Women Together, customers can help these suppliers increase their incomes, better their lives and create new jobs for others, and Walmart can help these suppliers gain experience with buying trends, scaling, product development and acumen they need to build their businesses.”

“As merchants, we’re always looking for new products to share with our customers that are quality, on-trend and priced right,” said Kelly Thompson, senior vice president of merchandising, Walmart.com.  “The products from the Empowering Women Together collection deliver all of that while also giving our customers the chance to do good with their dollars – it’s a positive and powerful proposition for everyone.”

Empowering Women Together will be part of Store for Good, a developing Walmart.com program dedicated to connecting consumers with products that do good for other people, for themselves, or for our environment.  The initiative will grow and potentially include eco-friendly products and healthier food options.

Each of the businesses participating in Empowering Women Together is fueled by women with inspiring stories.  No two stories are alike.  Challenges such as poverty, lack of education, domestic abuse and physical limitations are common.  What each supplier shares is a drive to build a better future. Empowering Women Together will give Joy Ndungutse, an entrepreneur in Rwanda, and many women like her around the world the opportunity they never thought they’d have – to begin or greatly expand their access to shoppers in America.

“From a humble beginning under a tree in a remote village in Rwanda, my sister and I founded Gahaya Links after the devastating 1994 Rwanda Genocide that left over 1 million dead,” said Joy Ndungutse.  “We organized about 20 women with a vision of empowering them to enhance their weaving skills, to be able to earn an income, and live adequately by community standards.  Today we are a growing network of over 4,000 women, the majority of whom are genocide survivors and are organized in cooperatives throughout Rwanda.  Through our partnership with Full Circle Exchange and opportunities such as Empowering Women Together, this platform gives hope to many families in Rwanda and we are so grateful.”

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