This Grant Is Fueling Change For Women Entrepreneurs In The Food & Beverage Industry

Hannah Hong has what is arguably the most fun job in the world: making ice cream. Alongside her best friend and business partner Mollie Cha, Hong stands at the helm of Hakuna Brands, a “nice cream” business that is changing the narrative around how we do dessert — by serving up 100% plant-based, refined-sugar-free ice cream that tastes 100% like ice cream should. And as of November 5, she has also been declared the winner of Stacy’s Rise Challenge — a program from Stacy’s Pita Chips that provides grants and mentorship to female entrepreneurs in the food and drink space.

Selected from more than 400 other female entrepreneurs who submitted their business proposals, Hong won a $100,000 grand prize, after participating in a three-month-long executive mentorship program with the competition’s other four finalists (each of whom received $20,000).

Stacy’s Rise Challenge was created in partnership with Alice (an online resource for women and other entrepreneurs) to counter the lack of support for female founders in the United States. As of 2018, these women received only 2.3% of venture capitalist funding — despite owning 38% of the businesses in the country. In that oversight, Stacy’s saw an opportunity to provide support and jumped at it. This is the third annual initiative, and, in the spirit of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, there might be no better way to celebrate than by joining the community of entrepreneurs built by Stacy’s and Alice. Check them out here.

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