Stacy's Rise Project™ Announces First-ever Class of Canadian Grant Recipients in Support of Women Entrepreneurs

·7-min read

This announcement marks the first time the program has awarded Canadian grant recipients in the brand's effort to support women entrepreneurs across North America.

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Jan. 20, 2023 /CNW/ - Stacy's Pita Chips continues its longstanding commitment of championing women-owned businesses with the announcement of its inaugural Canadian Stacy's Rise Project class, a grant and mentoring program for women entrepreneurs. 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 a new Canadian partner, Women's Enterprise Organizations of Canada (WEOC).

SRP Canadian Winners (CNW Group/PepsiCo Foods Canada)
SRP Canadian Winners (CNW Group/PepsiCo Foods Canada)

"Women-owned businesses in Canada receive an estimated 4% of VC1 funding and women entrepreneurs continue to face a variety of barriers when seeking capital to start and grow their businesses," said Alison Kirkland, CEO of Women's Enterprise Organizations of Canada. "Programs like the Stacy's Rise Project, that offer direct funding paired with ongoing mentorship opportunities, can be game changers for women entrepreneurs and we are proud to have been part of selecting the first Canadian class to benefit from this opportunity."

Introducing the Canadian Stacy's Rise Project Class

To kick off its first-ever Canadian class, the Stacy's brand is recognizing four women founders across Canada, enabling them to join the extensive community of Stacy's Rise Project winners in North America.

  • Carolyn Simon (Toronto, ON), founder of Choose Life Foods, the home of plant-based Caribbean Goodness. Choose Life Food's mission is to create nutritious plant-based alternatives to the Caribbean's most beloved dishes so consumers with different dietary restrictions can enjoy them.

  • Elaine Tan Comeau (Coquitlam, BC), founder of Easy Daysies Ltd. These award winning daily visual schedules are proven product solutions with the goal to help children, adults and families have happier and easier days.

  • Jolene Johnson (Tobique First Nation, NB), founder of Wabanaki Maple, a completely Indigenous, women-owned and unique maple syrup company located in Neqotkuk (Tobique) First Nation. Wabanaki Maple provides a twist on tradition with a signature line of barrel aged maple products that include flavours of bourbon, whisky, rum and Oak syrups.

  • Kristyn Carriere (Edmonton, AB), founder of 7 Summits Snacks, a women-owned and led superfood chocolate company. 7 Summits Snacks provides tasty and purposeful chocolate products designed to 'fuel your next adventure'.

With the support of WEOC, the grant recipients were selected from applications received from across the country. Each founder will receive a $15,000 CAD grant, and gain access to a once-in-a-lifetime mentorship opportunity with PepsiCo Foods Canada and Frito-Lay leadership.

In addition to the grant, these women entrepreneurs will participate in a mentorship program where they will be paired with PepsiCo executives for one-on-one counseling. They will also have the chance to participate in a peer group with other participants to build their personal network and access training opportunities led by industry experts.

"There are more than one million women entrepreneurs in Canada who are in need of more opportunities to receive the funding, mentorship and support they need to grow their business," said Jess Spaulding, Chief Marketing Officer of PepsiCo Foods Canada. "We're so thrilled to extend the Stacy's Rise Project to support women entrepreneurs across North America and know that announcing our first-ever class of Canadian winners is just the beginning of recognizing the incredible women founders in this country."

Visit to learn more about this year's grant recipients of the Stacy's Rise Project.

Rise: A Story of Resilience

This year, Stacy's Pita Chips is honoring the resilience of women entrepreneurs who have faced adversity and persevered through the release of Rise – a short film that will be celebrated as part of Stacy's Pita Chips sponsorship during the Sundance Film Festival2.  Created by Canadian filmmaker Nisha Ganatra of PRETTYBIRD and featuring original poetry by No. 1 New York Times bestselling author and Punjabi-Canadian performer 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.

Artistically accompanied by statistics and news headlines that frame the additional societal context on the struggles women face today, Rise illuminates how women's roots – the histories, voices and fortitude of those who came before – are a rich reserve of resilience that inspires their rise and continued fight for progress. The film was created and produced in partnership with Hello Sunshine, a media company founded by actress Reese Witherspoon, and nearly all (92 per cent) of the primary roles in the making of the film were comprised of women. Viewers can learn more about the making of Rise, here.

As an official sponsor of the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, Stacy's Pita Chips will screen the short film at the Stacy's Roots to Rise Market in Park City. Those not at the Sundance Film Festival are invited to watch the Rise short film on YouTube.

About The Stacy's Rise Project

Since 2017 in the U.S., Stacy's Pita Chips has connected thousands of women with each other and provided nearly $1,000,000 in funding, in addition to resources and mentoring to elevate the leaders that help our communities thrive. The Stacy's Rise Project was launched in the U.S. in 2019 and has since supported over 50 women founders and provided over $450,000 (USD) in grants. This is the first year the program has expanded to Canada in the brand's effort to support women entrepreneurs across North America.

For more information on the program, please visit:

About Stacy's Snacks

Stacy's Snacks is one of the many brands that make up Frito-Lay North America, the $19 billion convenient foods division of PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE: PEP), which is headquartered in Purchase, NY. Learn more about Frito-Lay at the corporate website, and on Twitter

About Frito-Lay North America

Frito-Lay North America is the $19 billion convenient foods division of PepsiCo, Inc. (NASDAQ: PEP), which is headquartered in Purchase, NY. Frito-Lay snacks include Lay's and Ruffles potato chips, Doritos tortilla chips, Cheetos snacks, Tostitos tortilla chips and branded dips, SunChips multigrain snacks and Fritos corn chips. The company operates 30+ manufacturing facilities across the U.S. and Canada, more than 200 distribution centers and services 315,000 retail customers per week through its direct-store-delivery model. Learn more about Frito-Lay at the corporate website,, on Twitter (@fritolay), on Instagram (@fritolay) and on Facebook (Frito-Lay).

About PepsiCo

PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $79 billion in net revenue in 2021, driven by a complementary beverage and convenient foods portfolio that includes Lay's, Doritos, Cheetos, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, Quaker, and SodaStream. PepsiCo's product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including many iconic brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

Guiding PepsiCo is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Beverages and Convenient Foods by Winning with PepsiCo Positive (pep+). pep+ is our strategic end-to-end transformation that puts sustainability and human capital at the center of how we will create value and growth by operating within planetary boundaries and inspiring positive change for planet and people. For more information, visit

About PepsiCo Foods Canada

PepsiCo Foods Canada is comprised of the Frito Lay Canada and Quaker Canada businesses. The company employs over 6,000 Canadians with seven manufacturing plants and sales and distribution facilities from coast to coast. Frito Lay Canada is the country's largest snack food manufacturer and the company's brands include Lay's, Doritos, Tostitos, Ruffles, Smartfood and Cheetos. The Quaker brand portfolio includes a wide range of wholesome cereals, oatmeal, rice and corn snacks and snack bars, and features other prominent brands such as Life, Quaker Chewy, Harvest Crunch and Crispy Minis. For more information, please visit

About WEOC

Women's Enterprise Organizations of Canada is a leading voice in the women's entrepreneurial ecosystem and supports a diverse membership of organizations that directly impact the growth and success of women entrepreneurs. For more information,


2 Rise is not an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival.


SOURCE PepsiCo Foods Canada


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