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Empowering Individuals in the Global Community Through Entrepreneurship
Whole Foods Market has partnered with local YMCA after school programs to help fight poverty. Students involved in the program are making holiday ornaments, which will be sold at local Whole Foods Markets beginning December 1. Whole Foods provides clear bulbs onto which the children apply strips of tissue paper with modge podge. When dry, the ornaments look like stained glass. These ‘collector items’ come with a tag signed by the child who made it, listing his/her grade, school and a little narrative about the project.
At just $5.00 each, these unique hand-decorated ornaments make great co-worker gifts or favors for holiday party guests. Don’t wait – supplies are limited.
The proceeds of the sales help support a program based on microcredit, i.e., small- $150-$300-interest and collateral free loans, offered to severely poverty stricken people, mostly women, enabling them to finance self-employment projects, which in turn generate income to help support their families.
The program focuses on people in developing countries where Whole Foods sources products and operates under the umbrella of its own non-profit, Whole Planet Foundation, the mission of which is to empower the poor through microcredit.
The concept of microcredit is one developed by Mohammed Yunus, a member of the Whole Planet Foundation advisory board. He and the Grameen Bank, which he founded, were jointly awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for promoting the idea of microcredit and enabling some of the very poorest, but not lacking in skills or ambition, people to become microentrepeneurs—loan recipients who finance employment projects.
Whole Foods Market also offers Whole Plant Foundation calendars for $2.00 each at all local stores, the proceeds of which also help support the microcredit program. So pick up a few calendars and some ornaments, knowing that your purchase is helping to fight poverty.
The ornament project and sale of the Whole Planet Foundation calendars are just two examples of the Whole Foods ‘conscientious capitalism,’ business model, i.e., the company strives to be profitable, but also seeks ways to assist both the local community in which it does business, e.g., its support of the program to save the Sugar House fireworks, as well as the global economy through works like the microcredit project supported, in part, by the sale of the ornaments and calendars—gifts which give back. Do take advantage of this opportunity to do the same.