Walmart is investing in Black businesses.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the retail giant said on Tuesday that it would be donating $800,000 to the Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs – an Atlanta-based nonprofit organization devoted to creating, nurturing and expanding Black entrepreneurs – to support initiatives to train entrepreneurs who make consumer goods.
“We’re going to be the place that when you see RICE on the head of any application that comes in, Walmart will know that they have to give it a good look,” said RICE President and CEO Jay Bailey, “because we’re going to prepare these entrepreneurs to win, to be shelf ready, to be retail ready.”
Walmart’s one-year grant to RICE is part of the company’s 2020 pledge to invest $100 million in racial equity over five years.
The news follows another significant corporate contribution to RICE from PayPal, which gave $1 million in August to establish a retail academy that would provide MBA-level retail training.
Part of the Walmart donation will go toward launching the PayPal Retail Academy. It will also supplement the initial phases of RICE’s entrepreneurship curriculum.
Set to open in January 2024, the PayPal Retail Academy will train up to 50 entrepreneurs on non-traditional retail methods, global marketing techniques and overcoming supply chain challenges.
Walmart employees will help teach those in the programs what products the retailer’s buyers, procurement staff and shelf managers are seeking.
Bailey also believes having Walmart staff teach business owners how to get on the store shelves will enhance their confidence and faith in their business.
RICE currently supports over 360 Black-owned enterprises, including Yany Beauty.
“Our vision for the future is to be on shelves at Walmart,” said Yaminah Childress, its chief executive officer. She said that when that happens, “customers around the world can discover what Yany Beauty is.”
Childress will pitch Walmart this month to stock a hair oil and Yany’s men’s skincare products.
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