PepsiCo Launches $50M Platform to Support Hispanic-Owned Businesses
Juntos Crecemos seeks to strengthen businesses, address foundational challenges, and support business growth over the next five years.
PURCHASE, N.Y. — PepsiCo Inc. is rolling out Juntos Crecemos (Together We Grow), a $50-million platform that seeks to strengthen Hispanic-owned businesses, specifically restaurants, bodegas and carnicerías (meat markets); address foundational business challenges; and support business growth over the next five years.
Juntos Crecemos is part of PepsiCo's Racial Equality Journey Hispanic Initiative, a $172-million set of commitments launched in October 2020.
Hispanic-owned businesses alone contribute more than $800 billion in economic activity and play a central role in their communities, according to a study by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Additionally, a Stanford University survey found that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 86 percent of Hispanic small business owners reported significant negative impacts, including complete closure, and were only half as likely as their white counterparts to receive Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. When combined with historic systemic barriers affecting wealth and educational attainment, this contributes to smaller business income among Hispanic business owners, according to research conducted by the Small Business Association.
"Juntos Crecemos and The PepsiCo Foundation IMPACTO Hispanic Business Accelerator bring our Racial Equality Journey and PepsiCo's values to life," said Esperanza Teasdale, vice president and general manager, Hispanic Business Unit, PepsiCo Beverages North America. "We're proud and committed to supporting and elevating the voice of the Hispanic small business community that is impacted by systemic inequality."
Small business owners who participate in Juntos Crecemos will have access to the Hispanic Digital & Delivery Program. This eight-week, customized consultation curriculum is tailored to meet their specific needs, such as helping them improve their online presence, delivery logistics, online ordering, and marketing practices. Participants will also have access to consultation from experts via office hours, where they will receive coaching and guidance on devising solutions for business challenges.
"Providing these resources is critical to delivering on our ambition to drive long-term change and address systemic barriers in communities that too often have been overlooked," said Antonio Escalona, senior vice president and general manager, Hispanic business unit, PepsiCo Foods North America. "This is only the beginning, and we are committed to working alongside these restaurants, bodegas, and carnicerías to propel their businesses forward."
The program will provide bodegas and carnicerías owners with store essentials, including safety kits, consumer promotions and targeted digital media support.
PepsiCo has partnered with the Latino Food Industry Association (LFIA) to raise awareness of Juntos Crecemos.
"Hispanic small business owners have disproportionately been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why we are excited to work with PepsiCo in bringing this much needed support to our community," said LFIA President Lupillo Ramirez. "Juntos Crecemos will provide valuable guidance and mentoring while connecting and uniting business owners across the country in sharing best practices."
SUPPORT FROM THE PEPSICO FOUNDATION
As part of the Juntos Crecemos platform, The PepsiCo Foundation is officially launching the IMPACTO Hispanic Business Accelerator. This will provide $10 million in funding to help 500 Hispanic small food and beverage business owners in 13 cities across the United States grow their enterprises over the next five years. It will also help these owners overcome systemic economic disparities and create economic opportunity within the community by providing business coaching in English and Spanish, along with other resources.
"The contributions of Hispanic communities are an integral part of the fabric of American culture. Unfortunately, the community has also long faced systemic barriers to success – a divide only deepened by the impact of COVID-19," said C.D. Glin, vice president, The PepsiCo Foundation and global head of Philanthropy, PepsiCo. "Supporting long-term solutions that drive economic equity in the Hispanic community isn't just right – it's imperative. The IMPACTO Hispanic Business Accelerator and Juntos Crecemos are about more than just saving businesses; it is about investing in the people that bring life, culture and vibrancy to our communities and ensuring that they continue to grow, thrive, and prosper today and for generations to come."
The Foundation is currently working with Community Development Financial Institution partners such as Allies for Community Business in Chicago; Ascendus in New York; LiftFund in San Antonio; Accion Opportunity Fund in San Jose and Los Angeles; and DreamSpring in Albuquerque; and other local organizations to provide $10,000 grants to beneficiaries and help business owners at every level retain employees and construct long-term business plans to support their future economic success.
After debuting in 13 cities where Hispanic-owned small businesses were hit particularly hard by the pandemic, The PepsiCo Foundation plans to expand the IMPACTO program to additional cities over the next five years based on community need.
The launch of Juntos Crecemos and IMPACTO Hispanic Business Accelerator are important milestones in PepsiCo's Racial Equality Journey, which in 2020 saw the company announce commitments of more than $570 million over the next five years to uplift Black and Hispanic businesses and communities in the U.S. to address issues of inequality and create opportunity.
Purchase-based PepsiCo's product portfolio spans 23 brands, including Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker, Tropicana and SodaStream, that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.