Sephora and Fifteen Percent Pledge, a non-profit focused on supporting Black entrepreneurs and their brands, have partnered to introduce a new $100,000 grant for a Black-owned beauty business.
To qualify for the “Sephora Beauty Grant,” business owners must run a brand with at least two years of operation and a minimum annual revenue of $100,000. The final date to submit an application is December 18, with the award recipient announced in February 2024. To learn more about the grant, visit the Fifteen Percent Pledge website here.
Black entrepreneurs have long been overlooked by financing institutions, leading to disproportionate representation in many industries, including the beauty sector. According to global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, while Black consumers comprise 11.1% of the segment’s total customer base, Black-owned businesses generate only 2.5% of the revenue and raise only $13 million in venture capital financing compared to an average of $20 million for other demographics. Furthermore, while Black buyers largely prefer to purchase beauty supplies from Black-owned brands, these products comprise only 4% to 7% of the average retailer’s offerings.
The Fifteen Percent Pledge seeks to overcome these discrepancies by urging companies to source 15% of their product offerings from Black-owned brands. In 2020, Sephora became the first major retailer to take the pledge. Priya Venkatesh, Sephora’s Global Chief Merchandising Officer, called the partnership “a natural evolution of the work we’ve done together…” and expressed hope that the grant “will help to further propel the next generation of Black beauty owners.” LaToya Williams-Belfort, executive director of the Fifteen Percent Pledge, noted that the collaboration would also “drive a direct integration within Sephora’s ecosystem, furthering our goal of creating equitable and sustainable business partnerships for Black entrepreneurs.”