Stacy’s Rise Project, the grant and mentorship programme created by Stacy’s Pita Chips, a US$15bn/£12.3bn convenient foods division of PepsiCo, Inc., to advance female founders, is back for 2020 and committed to helping even more women rise, in more ways than ever before.

Now through 1 June, women business owners may apply to take part in the Stacy’s Rise Project for a chance to be one of 15 women who will receive free advertising which includes expert design consultation and donated media space to raise awareness for these female-founded brands. They would also receive mentorship from Frito-Lay and PepsiCo leaders who are experts in sales, supply, marketing, R&D, and more. Each finalist will receive a US$10k/£8.2k grant to help advance her business.

“In 2019, female founders received only 2.8% of venture capitalist funding – which means that, as small businesses struggle in the current environment, women-owned companies need more support than ever before,” said Ciara Dilley, Frito-Lay Vice President of Marketing.

“Years ago, marketing, mentorship and monetary support helped our own female-founded brand rise from a humble sandwich cart to the nation’s supermarkets. And whilst the world looks very different today, we know these ingredients are still the recipe for success. That’s why Stacy’s is proudly expanding the Stacy’s Rise Project to share our most valuable resources with 15 women in their journey to help make their dreams a reality.”

A panel of Frito-Lay and PepsiCo leaders, as well as partners from Hello Alice, will choose the 15 finalists based on such factors as their commitment to social impact, sustainability and diversity, as well as how they have faced recent challenges for their business.

Last year, Stacy’s announced Hakuna Brands Founder Hannah Hong as its inaugural US$100k/£82.4k grand prize Stacy’s Rise Project winner from amongst a group of five finalists (chosen from an initial pool of 400 applicants). This year’s 15 finalists of the 2020 Stacy’s Rise Project will be unveiled in July and take part in the programme through November.

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