As a brand founded by a female entrepreneur, Stacy's Pita Chips believes in celebrating strong, hard-working women with entrepreneurial passions. In honor of Women's History Month, Stacy's is continuing its commitment to stand with women by endeavoring to raise $200,000 this month to support United Way's efforts to reduce the funding gap for female-founded businesses.

Stacy's is also announcing the launch of its inaugural Stacy's Rise Program, extending the brand's support of female entrepreneurs by awarding another $200,000 to help women nourish their food business ambitions. Together, the two efforts have potential to result in a total of $400,000 committed to support female-founded businesses in 2019.

"Women have always embodied the same capabilities, courage and grit as their male counterparts to create and operate successful businesses," said Ciara Dilley, vice president of marketing, Stacy's Snacks. "However, studies have shown that they continue to lack equal access, growth opportunities and financial investment – receiving only about 2 percent of all venture funding, despite owning 38 percent of the businesses in the country. As a female-founded brand, Stacy's Pita Chips is determined to reduce that disparity and are 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."

For the past two years, Stacy's mission to raise awareness for female empowerment and equality has been displayed front and center during Women's History Month through original artwork take-overs of Stacy's Pita Chip bags. This year, Stacy's will continue to celebrate Women's History Month by releasing a third collection of its popular limited-edition bags – designed by all female artists – depicting the six key stages of a female entrepreneur's journey: Inspiration, Courage, Grit, Nourishment, Success and Community. To commemorate the release, Stacy's is issuing a rally call to consumers to help match the brand's $100,000 commitment to United Way's "Women United" program and helping fund microgrants for women entrepreneurs who are interested in opening their own business or growing their existing business. Consumers can join Stacy's in the goal to raise a total of $200,000 to support this critical work by visiting and donating $10 to receive one of the six limited-edition bags and a commemorative 8x10 print of the featured artwork.

"Women United is a global, growing force consisting of more than 75,000 female leaders who are galvanized to make real and lasting change in their communities," Lisa Bowman, Chief Marketing Officer, United Way Worldwide. "We are proud to work with Stacy's Pita Chips to support current and future female business owners with funding to sustain their growth and to empower them join the fight for the health, education and economic stability of their communities. 

Beyond its Women's History Month partnership with United Way, Stacy's is expanding its support of female-founded businesses through the launch of its first-ever Stacy's Rise Program that will award an additional $200,000 to help women grow their food-focused businesses. Working with Alice, a leading online resource for women and other underrepresented entrepreneurs, every applicant will receive education, support, mentorship, and guidance to grow their companies. A team of leading business founders will serve as judges to select five female entrepreneur finalists who will be awarded a $20,000 funding prize, entrepreneurial advice and network building support. One of these women will win an additional $100,000 grand prize award to help take their business to the next level.