Top WBENC Consumer Companies Join Together for the First Time in Collective Initiative to Source from Women-Owned Businesses

BENTONVILLE, Ark.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Walmart announced today that they are one of nine corporations joining
in a collaborative effort to track and report sourcing from
self-identified and certified women-owned businesses (WOBs) over the
next five years. This marks the first time the Women’s Business
Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the largest third-party certifier
of businesses owned, controlled and operated by women in the U.S., will
launch a formal initiative to publicly report aggregated spending on
WOBs. Walmart helped form this unified front of major corporations,
including Campbell Soup Company, The Coca-Cola Company, ExxonMobil,
General Mills, Johnson & Johnson, Mondelēz International, PepsiCo and
Procter & Gamble, in order to create a more visible movement and raise
awareness for the importance of sourcing from women-owned businesses.

Walmart made the announcement on behalf of the other companies involved
and WBENC at Walmart’s Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) Summit in
Washington, D.C., a convening of leaders from business, government, NGOs
and academia to discuss and celebrate the achievements of women’s

“Creating economic opportunity and growth is central to who we are as a
company,” said Doug McMillon, president and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
“We are proud to be part of this important initiative, and together we
can make an even bigger impact in elevating these successful women-owned
businesses. Our customers care where products are sourced, and we
believe supporting women-owned businesses helps us put innovative
products on our shelves while helping these businesses thrive and grow.”

“Campbell is proud to join this collaborative effort in order to raise
awareness and foster more opportunities for female business owners,”
said Denise Morrison, president and CEO, Campbell Soup Company. “One of
the core values of our company is to ‘seek the power of different’ and
we are committed to assemble a supplier base that reflects the diversity
of the consumers and communities we serve.”

“Empowering women entrepreneurs and women-owned firms is smart business
and smart economics,” said Muhtar Kent, chairman and CEO of The
Coca-Cola Company. “Whenever you do the right thing and give
businesswomen a real opportunity to compete, this creates a positive
ripple effect that allows her to strengthen her company, her family and
her community. And stronger families and communities help fuel more
growth and opportunity.”

“Women and minority-owned businesses are critical to both their
communities and our company as they spur economic development and drive
growth,” said Irene Rosenfeld, Chairman and CEO of Mondelēz
International. “We are proud to support this important initiative, as we
continue to strive for inclusion and diversity in our company and
women’s empowerment around the world.”

“Supporting women-owned businesses and diversity across our suppliers is
central to who we are at PepsiCo,” said Indra K. Nooyi, Chairman and CEO
of PepsiCo. “Our commitment to diversity is not only a source of pride,
it is a source of strength. And it’s part of our broader commitment
to what we call Performance with Purpose, our approach to building a
healthier, sustainable future for all our stakeholders — from our
suppliers to our shareholders to our consumers, customers, employees,
and the communities we serve.”

“P&G is committed to Gender Equality,” said Carolyn Tastad, group
president of P&G’s North America business. “Supplier Diversity has been
an important business strategy at P&G in the United States for more than
40 years. We are proud to join this initiative to empower women-owned
businesses, as we believe in the power of economic inclusion. When the
ownership of our supply base reflects the diversity of our employees,
consumers, and stakeholders, our business grows and our community

“By participating in this initiative, these companies will help fuel
innovation and growth for women-owned businesses across the U.S.,” said
Pamela Prince-Eason, president and CEO of WBENC. “With women-owned
businesses currently supporting the creation or maintenance of 23
million American jobs, investing in their growth means investing in more
opportunities for the workforce overall.”

The initiative comes at a critical time when women entrepreneurs across
a range of countries report having smaller and less diverse networks,
leaving them at a disadvantage for growth, innovation and ability to be
relevant to a global market (Global
Entrepreneurship Monitor
). Walmart helped to recruit this initial
group of corporations to take part in this initiative and is encouraging
others to join as well.

This announcement comes on the heels of the culmination of Walmart’s
five-year Global WEE Initiative, which included a set of goals to help
empower women around the world through sourcing, training and supporting
diversity and inclusion. As part of the WEE Initiative, Walmart sourced
$20 billion from women-owned businesses in the U.S. and increased
sourcing from women-owned businesses internationally. Additionally, in
2014, working with WBENC and WEConnect International, a global network
that connects women-owned businesses to qualified buyers around the
world, Walmart helped fund the creation of the “Women-Owned” logo which
can be used by any woman-owned supplier certified by those organizations
at any retailer to highlight their products to consumers. Today, Walmart
has more than 1,500 suppliers who identify as women-owned businesses,
producing everything from apparel to produce.

In addition to participating in this collective initiative, Walmart
announced plans to launch a Knowledge Center that will house the key
tools, resources, learnings and achievements of the WEE Initiative and
help serve as a guide for any company or institution in their work to
empower women. For additional details on Walmart’s Global WEE
Initiative, visit

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save
money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online,
and through their mobile devices. Each week, over 260 million customers
and members visit our 11,695 stores under 59 banners in 28 countries and
e-commerce websites in 11 countries. With fiscal year 2017 revenue of
$485.9 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.3 million associates
worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate
philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about
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Walmart Media Relations
Tricia Moriarty, 1-800-331-0085