PepsiCo takes prides in its long-standing relationships with Hispanic-owned food and beverage small businesses and in 2021, launched Juntos Crecemos (Together We Grow), a $50m platform that provides grants, leadership training, networking and mentoring, while raising the visibility of Hispanic small businesses.
Building on its Racial Equality Journey commitment, the company has launched the first-ever Hispanic edition of its highly successful Greenhouse Accelerator programme (now in its eighth year), focused on driving growth through collaboration and innovation.
Applications now open
Hispanic-owned startups with disruptive ideas, products and services are invited to apply to join the mentor-guided programme and receive a $20,000 grant to accelerate their businesses.
From the pool of applicants, PepsiCo will select 10 high-potential brands to join the Greenhouse Accelerator programme in June. Over the six-month programme, PepsiCo will provide personalised mentorship to the entrepreneurs to solve a range of business challenges, including brand development, scaling technology, business model development, product optimisation and go-to-market strategy.
The startups will need to execute an initiative to demonstrate collaboration and tangible results, and in August, will share their initiative progress and present updates in a virtual event to the evaluation committee.
In November, the highest potential business will be awarded an additional $100,000 to continue its expansion. It will also be given the opportunity to continue working with PepsiCo and Juntos Crecemos to further its growth.
“In line with PepsiCo’s Racial Equality Journey goals to support and uplift diverse suppliers, this year we chose to focus on Hispanic-owned entrepreneurs,” said Esperanza Teasdale, VP & GM, Hispanic Business Unit, PepsiCo Beverages North America.
“We are extremely excited and proud to offer diverse companies an opportunity to grow their businesses with our support, especially emerging food and beverage brands. Through our mentorship programme and grants, we hope to see these businesses grow and further expand within the food and beverage industry.”
Strengthening the Latino connection
PepsiCo is also working hard to ensure its workforce reflects the Hispanic communities it serves by building a more diverse and inclusive workplace. Bakery&Snacks spoke to Antonio Escalona, senior VP & GM, of PepsiCo North America’s Hispanic Business Unit in October 2021, who told us that PepsiCo continues to boost investments in Hispanic talent, providing educational support through coaching and professional skills development with the aim to increase managerial representation to 10T of the workforce by 2025.
Additionally, reflecting the local community, 100% of its new Texas-based Gamesa route sales team leaders and 80% of team members are Hispanic employees.
As always, the Purchase, NY-headquartered conglomerate values being at the forefront of innovation and collaboration with emerging brands and companies, while supporting and uplifting diverse suppliers.
“PepsiCo is continually looking for ways to expand access to small businesses and entrepreneurs, particularly within communities of colour,” said Escalona.
“Knowing that Juntos Crecemos looks to help Hispanic entrepreneurs further grow their businesses, we saw an opportunity to collaborate with the Greenhouse Accelerator programme to uncover emerging Hispanic-owned food and beverage brands, innovations and services, and help them realise their business goals, while supporting the Hispanic community.”