Whole Foods Prosperity Campaign: Microlending on a Large Scale

There are just two days left of Whole Foods Market’s annual Prosperity Campaign which raises funds to support microbusiness across the world. The store is hoping the idea of “Small Change for Big Change” will catch on. At the checkout cashiers ask customers to round up their grocery bill to the nearest dollar and donate the difference in change. The money is distributed among partner organizations that work in microcredit: Muhammad Yunus Spotlight, Adelante Foundation, Grameen trust and several others. The organization has already surpassed its original goal of raising four million dollars in support of microbusinesses.

A woman weaves in India

Whole Foods helps people start their own business ranging from weaving to autoparts.

The goals behind the Whole Foods Prosperity Campaign are very similar to those at work at SCC. The campaign seeks to empower entrepreneurs around the world by providing them the capital needed to start their own business. At first it may seem that our clients couldn’t be more different: Whole Foods partner organizations are active as far as India, China, and Costa Rica while our services are primarily on the Suncoast of Florida; loans from the partners of the Prosperity campaign average at $175 while SCC provides access to loans of up to $50,000.

But the entrepreneurial spirit remains the same. Whether they are starting a weaving shop, grocery store or selling mechanical parts, the people served by the Whole Foods Foundation are simply seeking to improve their lives through hard work. With the loans having a payback rate of 96 percent, it’s clear that the clients are looking for a hand up, not a hand out.

Grocery store in Nepal

Some clients of microloans use the funds to start a small grocery store.

The Whole Foods Prosperity Campaign runs through the end of March. For more information on how to get involved click here.

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