Stacy’s Pita Chips brought back an expanded version of its annual Stacy’s Rise Project supporting women entrepreneurs, complete with a literal pie chart to demonstrate the urgency of the issue.
This year, Stacy’s increased the amount it is donating to the 15 women founders selected through the program to $25,000 apiece – with applications running through Dec. 1.
The brand teamed up with New York-based business owner Janie Deegan of Janie’s Life-Changing Baked Goods -- herself a former recipient of the award -- to introduce Stacy’s Rise Pies, a flaky crust apple pie topped with caramelized streusel and Stacy’s Cinnamon Sugar Pita Chips. A small cutout in each pie demonstrates the small sliver of startup funding going to women founders.
Women-owned businesses accounted for 42% of all U.S. businesses as of 2019, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration -- yet, according to a Harvard Kennedy School analysis, only about 13% of venture capital funding goes to startups with a woman founder or founding team member, and the 30-year average for all-female founders funding is just 2.4%.
Stacy’s Rise Pies are available for purchase through the company’s website through Thanksgiving, while available. Additionally, Stacy’s included a selection of products from present and past winners with each order.
“We wanted to make sure we showcased a breadth of the amazing products offered across the 60 woman-owned businesses that have been part of the Stacy’s Rise Project over the years," Frito-Lay North America VP, Marketing Rhasheda Boyd told Marketing Daily.
The issue of barriers faced by women business owners connects with the brand’s roots. “Stacy’s Pita Chips is woman-founded and grew from a sandwich cart to a household snack brand, so the importance of supporting woman founders is in our brand DNA and has been since the beginning,” Boyd said. “The inequities with women founders are greatest in funding but also we see inequities in having the right networks and communities to support business challenges and opportunities.”
Importantly then, the Stacy’s Rise Project includes not just funding but a mentorship program tailored to each founder.
“We identify seasoned leaders across PepsiCo and match them with members of the Stacy’s Rise Project class based on the area of support that’s most needed by that member,” Boyd explained. “Whether it’s marketing, supply chain, design, retail or another area of expertise, our Stacy’s Rise Project [winners] receive mentorship in an area that’s tailored to and most important for their business.”