Recently, 32 women entrepreneurs graduated from the Walmart Women Entrepreneurship Development Program (WEDP). The WEDP helped them build robust businesses by providing them training in professional and soft skills. The graduation ceremony was attended by women entrepreneurs, retail industry experts, NGOs as well as government officials.
WEConnect International and Vrutti implemented the WEDP with the support of Walmart. Launched in April 2016, the program consisted of several training modules to help establish a pipeline of women-owned businesses linking the industry.
At the graduation event, Walmart announced that program’s success will lead to second year of training open to WOB businesses. The details of the training program and the application process for it, along with the criteria for selection will be announced soon.
On the occasion, Krish Iyer, CEO & President, Walmart India, said, “Walmart financed the Women Entrepreneurship Development Program in April 2016 to support WOBs achieve higher levels of business growth and help make them more resilient in today’s dynamic socio-economic environment. During several assessments, it was heartening to note that the program did bring about the desired outcome and impact. I am glad that I have had the opportunity to interact with all of them, witness their entrepreneurial spirit and hear with awe their total and complete commitment and perseverance.”
Throughout the 11-month entrepreneurship program, the women underwent a organized capacity building training, mentoring and technical support custom-built to the requirements of their businesses and delivered in form of several formats including workshops, classroom sessions, webinars, field trips, etc.
Beyond class sessions, the applicants were given a guided tour of Best Price Stores, owned and run by Walmart India, for them to understand the merchandise assortment and customer segments in a better way. They also met and interacted with the senior leadership of Walmart India and showcased their products to the company’s merchandising team. They had the opportunity to set up booths and attend “Think Big”, the largest international confluence of WOBs and buyers.