This year at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, for the first time ever, Frito-Lay will introduce the 2020 WomanMade Expo West Challenge, in which 10 female entrepreneurs will pitch their business plans in a live, rapid-fire format to Frito-Lay leaders and industry experts for a chance to win $100,000 in business grants immediately on-site on Friday, March 6.

WomanMade, a PepsiCo initiative, is dedicated to advancing female-founded businesses in the food and beverage industry. According to PitchBook data, of all venture funding, only 2.2 percent goes to female-founded companies and only 0.2 percent goes to diverse female entrepreneurs. Additionally, research shows that female entrepreneurs often have less access than male counterparts to the tools and resources they need to launch and sustain successful businesses.

In order to apply for the WomanMade Expo West Challenge, applicants must have an established food or beverage product business with proof of minimum $500k annual sales in North America, identify as female and be the primary business owner. They must also showcase their commitment to innovation and social impact, both priorities of Frito-Lay and PepsiCo. Initial applicants will be narrowed down to the Top 10 finalists as applications close Feb. 10, with the Top 3 winners receiving a business grant on-site at Expo West.