For two weeks from June 23 – July 6, Whole Foods Market raised $1,114,474 from generous shoppers for Whole Planet Foundation to alleviate poverty in countries supplying Whole Foods Market stores with products. Whole Planet Foundation is a Whole Foods Market nonprofit dedicated to funding microcredit – small loans usually less than $200 – empowering the world’s poorest people with the chance to create or expand a business for the opportunity to lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
Congratulations to Team Members, stores and regions for their incredible efforts, and to shoppers for their generosity!
Since 2006, Whole Planet Foundation has disbursed $92 million through microfinance partners in 78 countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas, including in 20 U.S. cities. Whole Planet Foundation collaborates with a wide network of microfinance organizations and supports entrepreneurs – mostly women – in some of the most marginalized and remote communities around the world, funding 4.9 million microloans and 26 million opportunities for a better life through entrepreneurship. See the Foundation’s global impact dashboard and learn more about how impact is calculated.
“With a microcredit loan, an impoverished woman can generate income and lift herself and her family up. Each year, the generosity and support of Whole Foods Market shoppers, Team Members, suppliers and corporate partners provides life-changing opportunities for microentrepreneurs to generate income and lift themselves and their families out of poverty,” said Joy Stoddard, Whole Planet Foundation development and outreach director. Because Whole Foods Market covers the foundation’s operating costs, 100% of every donation benefits microcredit clients.
For example, Jihan was widowed four years ago, so she took over the small family store in Egypt. She used her microloan of 6000 EP (about $378) repayable over 10 months from Whole Planet Foundation’s partner Global Fund for Widows to purchase inventory and grow her store. She has also added a knitting component to her business with her daughter.
“We are grateful to Whole Foods Market shoppers for their generosity and to supplier donors for supporting the annual campaign with $850,000 total, including two $100,000 donors in Allegro Coffee Company and So Delicious Dairy Free,” said Philip Sansone, president and executive director for Whole Planet Foundation. “Given the average first loan size of $174, these funds go far, especially given the regenerative nature of microcredit where loans are repaid and reloaned again and again, lifting families and communities over time.”
Based on the current average first loan size funded by Whole Planet Foundation, Whole Foods Market Team Member and shopper support will enable the Foundation to fund approximately 6,000 microcredit loans for essential businesses, providing more than 33,000 opportunities for entrepreneurs and their family members with the chance to change their own lives through their own hard work.
Learn more about the transformative power of microcredit by reading stories of entrepreneurs who have started or expanded their own essential businesses – and thank you!