Wal-Mart Puerto Rico: Promoting Development Through a Public-Private Partnership

Authors: Sagebien, Julia; Comas, Myrna
Source: Richard Ivey School of Business
Year: 2010
Number of pages: 14, 9

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"Sowing the Development of the Country" (SDC) was a public-private partnership between Wal-Mart Puerto Rico (Wal-Mart PR), the island's Department of Agriculture as well as its Economic Development Bank (EDB), two NGOs "CaborrojeƱos Pro Salud y Ambiente" (CaborrojeƱos Pro Health and Environment) and ConectaRSE (a corporate social responsibility (CSR) promotion non-governmental organization(NGO)), and a group of local farmers. The objective of the project was to promote sustainable development on the island by encouraging farmers to become entrepreneurs by developing small agro-businesses. Wal-Mart acted as the primary buyer. The project faced many challenges, such as farmers' difficulties in meeting quality standards and delivery schedules, the lack of an existing vehicle through which to access funding from the EDB, and, most importantly, changes in the political party in power. Project partners had to develop a position from which to negotiate a new alliance with the incoming government administration. Since Wal-Mart was determined to guarantee the continuity and expansion of the SDC project, Wal-Mart had to step into the project champion role. Students will be exposed to issues such as: 1) adapting a global company's international CSR strategies to local circumstances; 2) developing strategies to further local economic development through market forces and entrepreneurship; 3) evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of partnerships with governments and civil society; and 4) creating and managing a public-private partnership.

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This case is available for purchase from Ivey Publishing. Case #: 9B10M024, Teaching Note #: 8B10M24

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