The mentor: Linda Dillman, Executive Vice President of Benefits and Risk Management, Wal-Mart
Thirty-six-year-old Paola Gonzalez de Villena (left) runs a company that processes and exports medicinal products sourced from Peruvian herbs. The 13-person enterprise operates an online natural-products store, which connects farmers in the Andes Mountains to the global marketplace. Learning the trade: During her two weeks in Bentonville, Ark., Gonzalez de Villena studied everything from logistics and merchandising to government relations. What's next: Gonzalez de Villena and another 2008 mentoring participant from Peru are creating an association to teach low-income women how to access credit, start businesses, and reach the global market. Linda Dillman (right) was impressed by: Gonzalez de Villena's focus on people, especially the farmers in Peru. "These relationships are one of the main reasons her business is thriving today."
Photographed in a Wal-Mart store in Bentonville, Ark.