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Empowering Individuals in the Global Community Through Entrepreneurship
Why is a Fortune 500 Company such as Whole Foods Market on a global mission to help create seeds of prosperity through supporting microlending programs?
Whole Foods Market started in 1980 in Austin, Texas with a spirit of entrepreneurship and core values that have guided us in what we sell, how we treat our customers and team members, how we create wealth through profits and growth, and how we treat our communities and our environment. These are the values and spirit that led Fortune to name us one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" every year since the list's inception.
In 2005, we launched the Whole Planet Foundation to combat poverty in rural communities around the world. Through this work, we began to recognize the power of microfinance to alleviate poverty in the communities where we source our products. We partnered with Nobel Laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Trust to invest over $3 million in microfinance projects in Latin America and India. Since then, we have expanded to include other MFI organizations such as Pro Mujer, Adelante and others increasing our global commitments to over $5 million with a goal to increase this investment year by year. These grants have enabled microfinance institutions to extend loans to more than 10,000 microentrepreneurs and to liberate their entrepreneurial spirit.
Whole Planet Foundation and Whole Foods Market believe that microcredit is one of the most entrepreneurial minded approaches to alleviating global poverty. Our belief in this approach has led us to support microcredit programs, as well as associated activities to empower entrepreneurs and catalyze a grassroots movement to create individual seeds of prosperity around the world.