Whole Foods and the Grameen Bank Joint Venture--Read About It In A New Internet News Service Written By Women--WIP, Women's Internation Perspective.

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on March 11, 2007

A friend, Kate Daniels, has launched a global news service written by women from a woman’s perspective that has information you might want and need. Here’s the release for WIP:

“The Women’s International Perspective, The WIP, is a comprehensive news website of women contributors that reports world news, opinion, and commentary. Our mission is to provide quality news from the unique perspectives of women, accessible worldwide and free to our readers.

The WIP is a balanced media source that promotes diversity and is not associated with any particular religious, political, or cultural affiliation. As a worldwide collective of women writers, The WIP seeks to balance the tremendous under-representation of women journalists and offers a greater diversity of background and opinion than typically found in one online news publication.

Written from a feminine perspective, The WIP stories are uniquely personal and contextual. Research indicates that women’s news reports offer a more humanistic view than traditional news stories, are concerned with the impact of events as they unfold, and tend to include ‘what-if’ and ‘who will be affected’ analysis and reporting. Through the promotion of the feminine perspective, The WIP fosters dialog and brings divergent cultures, opinions, and ideas together. The WIP stories are bold, current, investigative, and analytical.

The WIP employs a global/local approach to connect writers, readers, and advertisers. This strategy attracts local writers seeking a global audience and global readers interested in local stories. Through our global/local strategy, advertisers can tailor their product and message to carefully chosen markets at the local, national, and international levels.

The WIP responds to the need for quality international news by becoming a leader in the growing online news market. Media is a powerful tool with tremendous opportunity to transform society through education and awareness. The WIP plays a role in media reform through our dedication to critical and analytic reporting. We promote a voice that is underrepresented worldwide and a perspective that has the power to bridge the differences often exacerbated by the reporting style of mainstream media.

The expertise, enthusiasm, and commitment of The WIP editors and staff is phenomenal. We are a team dedicated to creating a new standard in international online news reporting. Flexibility and a desire for excellence have governed all development, evaluation, alteration, and improvement of The WIP. “

I just checked it out and immediately found out that Whole Foods and Grameen Bank (founded by Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus) have a joint venture in Costa Rica helping women in business. Who knew? The article in the Tico Times says that Whole Foods buys organic bananas in the province where the project finances dozens of women in small businesses.

Here’s more from the article on how Whole Foods works with Grameen Bank through a foundation called Whole Planet. Fascinating.

“Whole Planet and Grameen Bank

The Whole Planet Foundation funded the creation of the Grameen Association of Costa Rica with a $1.5 million, three-year grant.

The Whole Planet Foundation began after a “life-changing dialogue” between the CEO of the Whole Foods Market, John Mackey, and Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Bangladesh-based Grameen Bank.

Mackey runs the 27-year-old U.S. company, the world’s leading natural and organic foods supermarket and the United States’ first national certified organic grocer. The Texas-based company posted 2006 sales of $5.6 billion and has 185 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, according to a Whole Foods statement.

To fund the foundation, Whole Foods picked an October day in 2005 and set aside 5% of all customer purchases at every Whole Foods Market in North America and the United Kingdom. In one day, the Foundation raised more than a half million dollars. Whole Foods then pledged $1 million contribution annually to keep the foundation going for at least three years.
The Foundation plans to hold fundraisers this year to raise another $1 million through donation coupons. Whole Planet is also considering an online “sponsor a business” campaign.

After three years, the Grameen Association of Costa Rica will be handed over to Costa Ricans to manage.

The Whole Planet Foundation has similar Grameen partnerships in Guatemala and India.

Yunus inspired the Whole Planet Foundation and is on its Advisory Board. In 1976, Yunus began providing poor people, primarily women, with access to microcredits without requiring collateral.

Grameen has provided more than $5 billion to 6 million people in Bangladesh, 97% of them women. His loans have consistently received repayment rates above 90%. His bank has helped inspire the creation of more than 250 microcredit institutions in more than 100 countries based on the Grameen methodology.

Grameen and Yunus were awarded the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for “their efforts to create economic and social development from below.”

WIP appears to be a great source of information. I’m making it a favorite.

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Reader Comments

Alexandra Pluscarr

March 11, 2007 08:36 PM

Bruge, Thank you for taking an interest in our site. We hope to add a significant quality, and quantity, of women bylines to the current media and are grateful for your attention. Be well, Alexandra

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Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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