Plano, TX — Frito-Lay North America’s Stacy’s Pita Chips brand continues its commitment of championing women-owned businesses with the launch of its next Stacy’s Rise Project class, a grant and mentoring program for female entrepreneurs.
The company is also honoring the resilience of women entrepreneurs through the release of Rise, a short film, produced in collaboration with Hello Sunshine, that will be celebrated as part of the Sundance Film Festival.
Created by Prettybird filmmaker Nisha Ganatra and featuring original poetry by Rupi Kaur, Rise illustrates the resilience of women today and those who came before them, bringing to light the dedication and behind-the-scenes struggles people often don’t see, according to the company. The film spotlights the stories of Sajani Amarasiri of Kola Goodies, Jocelyn Ramirez of Todo Verde and Maria Jose Palacio of Progeny Coffee, three previous winners of the Stacy’s Rise Project.
“Hello Sunshine’s mission is to amplify women’s stories and experiences, and that’s why it was so important for us to team up with Stacy’s Pita Chips for the Stacy’s Rise Project,” says Reese Witherspoon, Oscar-winning actress, producer and founder of Hello Sunshine. “I’m so proud of what we created together and am excited for everyone to see Rise and be inspired by these incredible women.”
As an official sponsor of the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, Stacy’s Pita Chips will screen the short film at Stacy’s Roots to Rise Market in Park City. The film will also be available to stream on Prime Video.
The Stacy’s Rise Project Class of 2023 includes:
- Dorielle Price, co-founder of EasyPeasie.
- Michelle Razavi, founder of ELAVI.
- Essilfua Bartels, founder of EssieSpice.
- Jane Barden, founder of Farm to Summit.
- Shelley Elkovich, founder of For Bitter For Worse.
- Diana Rios Jasso, founder of Jarabe Gourmet Pops.
- Jacqueline Grady Smith, founder of Not Just Co.
- Rhonda Cammon, founder of Perfectly Cordial.
- Patrice Cunningham, founder of Tae-Gu-Kimchi.
- Monica Sunny, founder of The Chai Box.
- Carolyn Simon, founder of Choose Life Foods.
- Elaine Tan Comeau, founder of Easy Daysies.
- Jolene Johnson, founder of Wabanaki Maple.
- Kristyn Carriere, founder of 7 Summits Snacks.
The winners were selected from a pool of more than 9,000 applicants and will each receive a $15,000 grant, in partnership with longtime grant partner Hello Alice, as well as mentorship and community-building opportunities. For the first time, the Stacy’s Rise Project opened its applications to women founders based in Canada, expanding the impact of the program beyond the U.S. with the help of new Canadian partner, Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada (WEOC).
“Stacy’s Pita Chips is a brand that believes that when one woman rises, we all rise,” says Rhasheda Boyd, vice-president of marketing at Frito-Lay. “Women-owned businesses only receive 2 percent of venture capital funding, yet businesses founded by women have an average return on investment of two times per dollar invested. Stacy’s is investing in the futures of women-led businesses through the Stacy’s Rise Project. We are excited to bring awareness to these remarkable women at a major platform, the Sundance Film Festival. This will give even more people the opportunity to rally around them and be inspired by their resilience.”