This March, purchasing a bag of Stacy’s means so much more than just an opportunity to munch on some pita chips.
As a female-founded brand, Stacy’s Pita Chips is dedicated to celebrating entrepreneurial women in Women’s History Month (and beyond). Through a new program launch and a partnership with United Way, Stacy’s intends to show its support for female founders throughout 2019—to the tune of a $400,000 commitment.
“Starting with a food cart in Boston, it took a lot of hard work and perseverance to grow Stacy’s Pita Chips into what is today. As a female business owner who has experienced the challenges and journey first-hand, I recognize the importance of empowering women to take leadership roles and pursue their entrepreneurial efforts,” Founder Stacy Madison said in a statement. “I’m so proud to see the continued commitment that Stacy’s Pita Chips has to carve a path towards equality for female entrepreneurs so that they too can achieve their dreams.”
Stacy’s Snacks, one of the brands that makes up Plano-headquartered Frito-Lay North America, has teamed up with Alice, an online platform for underrepresented entrepreneurs, to launch its first-ever grant competition: Stacy’s Rise Program.
Intended to help women grow their food-focused businesses, Stacy’s Rise will award a total of $200,000 to go toward education, support, mentorship, and guidance. Each of the five female finalists will be given entrepreneurial advice, networking opportunities, and $20,000 in funding, with one being selected to win an additional $100,000 to take her business to the next level.
Ciara Dilley, vice president of marketing for Stacy’s Snacks, attributes the necessity of the program to studies that show women own 38 percent of businesses in the country, but receive only about 2 percent of venture capital financing.
“Women have always embodied the same capabilities, courage, and grit as their male counterparts to create and operate successful businesses,” Dilley said in a statement. “As a female-founded brand, Stacy’s Pita Chips is determined to reduce that disparity and [is] proud that the Stacy’s Rise program will continue building upon a legacy focused on giving female entrepreneurs the nourishment they need to accomplish their dreams.”
Mirroring that is a second $200,000 endeavor that Stacy’s is aiming to achieve with United Way.
For the third year in a row, Stacy’s is continuing its Rise Project and raising awareness for gender equality through original artwork takeovers of pita chip bags. The collection of six limited-edition bags, all designed by woman artists, will each depict a stage of an entrepreneur’s journey: inspiration, courage, grit, nourishment, success, and community.
As one of the largest privately-funded nonprofits in the world, United Way is continually making efforts to diminish the funding gap for female-founded businesses through its Women United program. Stacy’s has already pledged $100,000 in microgrants for aspiring entrepreneurs, but now the brand is calling on consumers to step up.
By purchasing one of the limited-edition bags, pita chip fans can also contribute to Women United—which Stacy’s hopes will, in total, match its $100K donation. A $10 donation gets snackers a chip bag and a commemorative 8×10 print of the featured artwork.
United Way said that together with Stacy’s, the organizations will support, fund, sustain, and empower future female business owners.
Applications for the Stacy’s Rise Program will open on April 12. Donations can be made to United Way online.
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