Whole Planet Foundation

The Whole Planet Foundation’s mission is to create economic partnerships with the poor in those developing-world communities that supply our stores with product. Through innovative assistance for entrepreneurship – including direct microcredit loans and tangible support for other community partnership projects – we seek to unleash the energy and creativity of every human being we work with in order to create wealth and prosperity in emerging economies … (about 1/2 /Our Mission).

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Address: Whole Planet Foundation, c/o Whole Foods Market, 550 Bowie Street, Austin, TX 78703-4677, USA;

About 2/2: Our Mission: … Whole Planet Foundation’s Approach: Whole Planet Foundation, a private, nonprofit organization established by Whole Foods Market, provides grants to microfinance institutions in Latin America, Africa and Asia who in turn develop and offer microenterprise loan programs, training and other financial services to the self-employed poor. 

Whole Planet Foundation is authorized to work in developing countries where Whole Foods Market sources products. Priority is given to projects that demonstrate financial leverage and potential financial sustainability over time. We look for strategic partnership opportunities in areas of relative political stability.

The Foundation does not accept unsolicited applications and proposals.

See Whole Planet Foundation at work in Nicaragua (click on the internal link).

History of the Foundation:

  • The Whole Planet Foundation represents a significant expansion of Whole Foods Market’s mission to actively participate in our communities. With more than 270 stores and 54,000 Team Members, we now have the scale and scope to give back to the global community. The creation of this foundation directly connects Whole Foods Market customers and Team Members to the villages in developing countries that supply us with products. Establishing these community partnerships will contribute to the economic well being of the communities where we source products.


  • The Whole Planet Foundation was established in October of 2005 issuing its first grant in April 2006, to Grameen Trust for the operation of a microfinance program in Costa Rica.


  • Microcredit ignites the tiny economic engines of the rejected underclass of society. Once a large number of tiny engines start working, the stage can be set for bigger things.
  • Whole Planet Foundation was formed with the entrepreneurial spirit of Whole Foods Market in partnership with Professor Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank, co-recipients of 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. Yunus, founder of Bangladesh’s Grameen Bank, is a pioneer of microcredit, a tool to empower the poor. In Professor Yunus’s own words: “Microcredit ignites the tiny economic engines of the rejected underclass of society. Once a large number of tiny engines start working, the stage can be set for bigger things.” We are also partnering with Fundación Adelante, Pro Mujer and other microfinance institutions implementing microcredit programs.


  • Microloans are small loans – usually $200 or less – requiring no collateral or contract. They are offered to the poorest of the poor, with a focus on women, wanting to finance self-employment projects that will generate income. Whole Planet Foundation is focusing efforts on the villages and rural communities that supply our stores with products such as tropical fruit, vegetables, tea, and coffee. Giving the poor in these communities access to credit through microloans will enable them to escape the vicious cycle of poverty by allowing them to use their own energy and creativity to help themselves.


  • The Whole Planet Foundation was born out of Whole Foods Market’s desire to give something back to those who have helped us succeed while focusing on the persistent problem of world poverty and hunger.

Learn More About Whole Planet Foundation: … (full text).

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