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A retailer helps small businesses and farmers fight drought—including the economic kind.

Unemployment and agricultural challenges have been pressing issues in South Africa over the last decade. Beginning in 2007, retail and food ­giant Woolworths took aim at addressing them with the Good Business Journey, a major pivot that puts the company on a path towards sustainability.

Solutions at Woolworths (which has no connection to the similarly named U.S. and Australian chains) have been manifold. The Supplier and Enterprise Development program brought in black- and women-owned small businesses; it gave out almost $2 million in loans to 48 suppliers last year. Woolworths has also brought 95% of its ­primary produce suppliers into Farming for the Future, imparting good environmental practice in a country that ranks as one of the driest in the world. In the first three years of that program, suppliers have decreased water usage by 16%, and have halved the usage of pesticides and
herbicides.

Company Information

Impact Segment
Economic Opportunity/Financial Inclusion
Sector
Retailing
Industry
General Merchandisers
CEO
Ian Moir
Websitehttp://www.woolworthsholdings.co.za
Employees43,140
Company Type
Public
Revenues ($M) (Last Fiscal Year)$4,951
Profits ($M) (Last Fiscal Year)$400
Market Value ($M)$4,795