“Latinas are a powerful economic force in the U.S.,” says Esperanza Teasdale, Vice President & General Manager, Hispanic Business Unit, PepsiCo Beverages North America. Teasdale cites the fact that Latinas create businesses at a rate six times the national average. Yet that figure doesn’t tell the full story: “Despite this accelerated growth rate, Latinas are confronting foundational challenges which must be addressed.”
To help address some of those challenges, PepsiCo is building on its Juntos Crecemos platform to focus on Latina-owned businesses with the Jefa-Owned campaign. Launched last year, Juntos Crecemos offers Hispanic small businesses mentoring, coaching, digital training and other support to strengthen their businesses. This year, PepsiCo commemorates the second annual National Jefa Day on March 31. Dreamt up by Latina entrepreneur Patty Delgado, Jefa Day is a way to recognize the accomplishments of Latina business owners. The custom “Jefa-Owned” neon sign can be displayed as a way to celebrate shop owners’ success and Hispanic heritage.
The first 40 Latina small business owners to complete an eight-week consultation curriculum in PepsiCo’s Juntos Crecemos (Together We Grow) Hispanic Digital & Delivery Program will receive the Jefa-Owned sign. Applications are now open for the eight-week personalized business-building program, which offers expert consultation on delivery logistics, technology, marketing and search engine optimization (SEO). Through one-on-one consultations with experts, program participants will also receive coaching and guidance on problem solving tailored to their unique business challenges.
For business owners like Elizabeth Espinoza of Miranda’s Grocery in Chicago, Illinois, Jefa-Owned is a badge of honor and a symbol of resilience. Her father started Miranda’s Grocery after immigrating from Mexico, but the COVID-19 pandemic threatened the 25-year-old business, as well as the family’s legacy and livelihood. “To have PepsiCo support us, as small businesses, it feels like we are not invisible,” she says. “I am truly proud to be a part of Jefa-Owned, and I look forward to being a beacon of light to other Latina business owners in our Hispanic community.”
I look forward to being a beacon of light to other Latina business owners in our Hispanic community.
The Jefa-Owned campaign is an extension of PepsiCo’s Juntos Crecemos platform that launched in August of last year, a key part of the company's Racial Equality Journey Hispanic Initiative, a $172 million set of commitments. The $50 million Juntos Crecemos program provides funding, mentoring and business tools to Hispanic small businesses — specifically, restaurants, bodegas and carnicerías (meat markets) — over five years.
These businesses have been especially hard-hit during the pandemic. According to the 2020 State of Latinos Entrepreneurship Report, 41% of Latina business owners reported significant negative impacts as a result of the pandemic. Compared to Latino-led businesses, twice as many Latina-led companies experienced closure.
Says PepsiCo Foods North American Hispanic Business Unit SVP & GM, Antonio Escalona, “Our Jefa-Owned campaign is not only a celebration of the ‘Latina Boss,’ it is an affirmation of the vital role they play in our economy and the commitment of PepsiCo to help their continued growth.”