During Women’s History Month, Whole Planet Foundation and sponsors joined together to alleviate global poverty, celebrate the achievements of women entrepreneurs and collectively raise funds to support them with microcredit.
Whole Planet Foundation is a Whole Foods Market non-profit dedicated to alleviating poverty in the United States and around the globe. Microcredit is small loans – usually less than $200 – provided to low-income entrepreneurs, mostly women, for the chance to create or expand a business, often home-based. Since 2005, Whole Planet Foundation has disbursed $97 million through our network of microfinance partners in 80 countries, funding 5.7 million loans creating 29 million opportunities for impoverished entrepreneurs to generate income to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
Sponsors powering the online activation in honor of International Women’s Day include Gold Sponsors Honey Mama’s, Miles and Milan and Southern Elegance Candle Company (with support from Amazon) and Ripple Foods; Silver Sponsor Pact; Bronze Sponsors Coconut King, Primal Kitchen and Shoes For Crews, and Gift Card Sponsors AOK Fund, Luxury Travel Hackers and Traditional Medicinals.
Online participants helped fund opportunities for microcredit clients like Ines, pictured above, a microcredit client of Whole Planet Foundation microfinance partner Microserfin in Panama. Commercial Manager of Microserfin, Clemente Castillo, shares this from Panama: “We know that rural women face greater difficulties in accessing financial services from traditional banks due to limited access to land, lack of documentation, and the fact that they often conduct their business activities from their homes. So, for us at Microserfin, the alliance we’ve had for several years with Whole Planet Foundation is valuable because their support has allowed us to promote our Rural Women program, which provides financing to women from the most vulnerable sectors of the interior of Panama, thus helping to pave the way for more rural women to progress, achieve autonomy and economic empowerment, and improve the living conditions of their families.”
With sponsor generosity covering activation expenses, sponsors and online donors generated more than $23,000 to create 670 economic opportunities for women entrepreneurs and their family members to generate income. Participants were invited to learn more about microcredit by signing up for the foundation’s e-newsletter during March 1-31 to be automatically entered in Whole Planet Foundation’s Win Groceries for a Year Sweepstakes.
Sweepstakes prizes include a grand prize of $5,000 in Whole Foods Market gift cards with support from Gift Card Sponsors AOK Fund, Luxury Travel Hackers and Traditional Medicinals, plus first, second, and third prizes generously provided by Pact with $600 in apparel site credits, Miles and Milan (Parent)hetical: A New Social Card Game for Parents, Big Smile Bodysuit Set (3-Pack), Knotted Cap, Bodysuit and Romper Cozy Set, and The Happy Tee – Long Sleeve, Shoes For Crews pair of shoes selected by winner, Southern Elegance Candle Company Home Fragrance Bundle of Candle, Diffuser and Spray, and Traditional Medicinals VIP tea box including teas and a mug.
Many thanks to sweepstakes winners and participants!