Walmart Gives RMB 1 Million to Start "Women's Development Fund"

2010-10-21 20:06 1582

 Fostering Women's Economic Independence in Agricultural Projects

BEIJING, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- Walmart and the China Women's Development Foundation signed an MOU today that included a Walmart 1 million RMB as seed funding for the "Walmart Women's Development Fund."

Ed Chan (third from right), President and CEO of Walmart China hands over the 1-million-yuan check to Qin Guoying(center), Secretary-General of China Women's Development Foundation. Second form the left is Doug McMillon, President and CEO of Walmart International, first from right is Leslie Dach, Executive Vice President of Walmart Corporate Affairs and Government Relations and first from left is Scott A. Price, President and CEO of Walmart Asia.

Ed Chan, President and CEO of Walmart China and Qin Guoying, Secretary-General of China Women's Development Foundation exchange the MOU.

The fund will finance the "Revolving Fund on Poverty Alleviation Program for Mothers" led by the China Women's Development Foundation. The project aims to give full support to women in China by providing "household poverty alleviation and access to revolving funds." The purpose of the fund is to give financial and technical support to women in China's impoverished areas in agricultural production and related industries and to help impoverished women start their own businesses and live better lives.

Present at the signature ceremony in the conference hall of the All China Women's Federation were Doug McMillon, President and CEO of Walmart International and Leslie Dach, Executive Vice President of Walmart Corporate Affairs and Government Relations and other Walmart officials. Ed Chan, President and CEO of Walmart China and Qin Guoying, Secretary-General of China Women's Development Foundation, signed the MOU on behalf of the two parties.

According to Doug McMillon, President and CEO of Walmart International, "The most dynamic story in the Chinese economy is being written in the countryside.  At the same time, many rural women are struggling to make a better life for themselves and their families. The foundation is designed to help rural women help themselves, which fits Walmart's global commitment to the empowerment of women.  The partnership behind the effort is a combination of government, the non-profit sector and private business. We believe our combined effort to give women jobs and teach them to be entrepreneurs will enable them to help themselves and their families improve the quality of their lives."

"The kickoff of the 'Women's Development Fund' is evidence of Walmart's commitment to poverty-stricken mothers and a strong sense of corporate social responsibility. Besides providing financial support to impoverished families, the fund enables impoverished women to start independent business projects on a household basis," said Qin Guoying, Secretary-General of China Women's Development Foundation. "In the future, we will work with Walmart to guide and monitor the project to ensure its success."

The "Poverty Alleviation Program for Mothers" supported by Walmart will provide impoverished women technical assistance and training and up to RMB 10,000 for each family to help them start animal husbandry, crop planting and processing businesses. Funding provided to impoverished women will revolve to different women within the project period to allow as many rural women as possible to benefit from it. In the future, Walmart will consider purchasing animal and vegetable products produced by the projects established by these women,

In addition, Walmart and China Women's Development Foundation will coordinate resources and knowledge in agriculture and animal husbandry, irrigation, environment protection, health and hygiene, and education to provide project packages to rural women. This way the projects will achieve synergies with other projects such as "Water Cellars for Mothers" and "Poverty Alleviation with Science and Technology".

Priority will be given to women in the 592 areas in central and western China published by the State Council, including Xinjiang, Tibet, Dabieshan Mountain Regions, and Lvliang Mountain Region in Shanxi. Women in national-level impoverished counties will be the first beneficiaries, followed by those in provincial-level impoverished counties. Beneficiaries should be capable of labor and trustworthy. After close examination of the would-be beneficiaries, funding will be provided for their chosen projects. The winning projects will need to take into consideration environmental balance and market demand and should provide professional training and follow-up support for entrepreneurial households.

Walmart has been providing development opportunities through various means to impoverished women and women in need across the globe.  To this end, the company has begun the "World Women Project" in support of women's development throughout the world. The project aims to provide development opportunities in terms of education, job training and entrepreneurship to those in need. For example, The Care Project carried out in Bangladesh, offers training in job skills and literacy in an effort to help women in the textile industry to improve their living standards and working environments over the long term. In addition, Walmart's Direct Farm program is expected to benefit 2 million people in 2015 and a number of them will be female.

Inside the company, Walmart emphasizes career and leadership development for women. The Women Leadership Program is an important global training program for Walmart International. Women account for 43 percent of Walmart's senior management team in China. To accelerate and promote career development for women, Walmart set up the Walmart China Women's Leadership Development Committee in 2009.

The signing ceremony is one of the key events during Mike Duke, Walmart President and CEO, and other Walmart global management's visit to China.

Revolving Fund on Poverty Alleviation Program for Mothers

Beginning from 1996, China Women's Development Foundation started to invite donations from benefactor businesses and individuals in Hong Kong and Macau to open "Poverty Alleviation Project for Mothers" in more than 20 provinces, autonomous regions and cities in China, by means of "small sum, household poverty alleviation and recycled usage." So far, funding for the project has reached nearly RMB 30 million, and revolving investment has reached 100 million. By offering training and technical instruction, the project has provided help to nearly 300,000 impoverished families to improve their crops, animal husbandry and agricultural product processing, benefiting almost 3 million people. The project has substantially improved living conditions of impoverished women and has effectively created entrepreneurial enthusiasm among the beneficiaries, who serve as good examples, providing excellent economic and social benefits.

About Walmart in China

Walmart entered the Chinese market and opened its first store in Shenzhen in 1996. Walmart's Global Procurement sourcing operation has been headquartered in Shenzhen since 2002. Today, Walmart operates a number of store formats in China including Supercenters, Sam's Clubs, and Neighborhood Markets. Walmart has donated funds and in-kind support worth more than RMB 60 million to local charity and welfare organizations over the past 14 years, and has won awards such as "Best Employer", "Best Community Involvement", "Supplier Satisfaction Recognition" and "Most Admired Company". For more information about Walmart in China, please visit

Source: Walmart