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Stacy’s Rise Project names first Canadian women entrepreneur grant recipients

January 23, 2023  By Bakers Journal


Mississauga, Ont. – Stacy’s Pita Chips’ first 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).

“Women-owned businesses in Canada receive an estimated four per cent 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, in a news release. “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.”

To kick off its first Canadian class, the Stacy’s brand is recognizing four women founders across Canada, enabling them to join the extensive community of project winners in North America:

  • Carolyn Simon (Toronto, Ont.), 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, B.C.), 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, N.B.), 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, Alta.), 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.

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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 counselling. 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 stacysriseproject.ca to learn more about this year’s grant recipients of the Stacy’s Rise Project.


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