7.8 million direct beneficiaries. The Whole Planet Foundation has given 1.4 million loans to entrepreneurs across the globe in an effort to eliminate poverty in 69 countries where Whole Foods Market sources its products. Olivia Hayden describes the foundation’s mission as having a pro-poor approach: “We don’t give a hand-out to people, we give a hand-up to them,” she continues, “we give them the opportunity to use their own passions and their own skills to do whatever work they wanna do, and create a business that can lift themselves and their family out of poverty.”
The Whole Planet Foundation partners with microfinance institutions to grant small loans to mostly women growing their home-based businesses. In this episode of Charity Chats, Olivia shares the story of one woman who took out her first loan of $11 to pay for fertilizer for her garden. This simple investment allowed her to support her family and eventually seek more grants to enhance her land. $11 allowed a destitute woman to transform her life. With the Whole Planet Foundation, every dollar really does make a huge difference.