According to a recent study, only 2.2% of all venture capital funding in 2018 was given to female-founded companies.
Ciara Dilley, Frito-Lay's vice president of transform brands portfolio innovation, speculates this discrepancy may be due to lack of diversity in VC teams who often might not understand "the value of a pitch that is based on a female founder's personal insights and experiences."
In response to the "horrifying" gender-based investment disparities, Frito-Lay launched the WomanMade Challenge -- a $100,000 grant competition available to three women to receive at the Natural Products Expo West. To enter the WomanMade Challenge, the female entrepreneurs' businesses must have an annual revenue of at least $500,00 with a purpose-led mission for social good. 10 finalists will be selected from over 100 applications with three winners taking home $50,000, $30,000 and $20,000.
Dilley states she "hopes that the women attending and participating in the pitch will find comradery that will help them build their businesses and advance their careers."
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