Sephora Launches Program For Female Founders of Beauty Startups

Sephora seeks to bridge the gap between male and female founders in the beauty industry

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To address the lack of female entrepreneurs in the beauty industry, Sephora, a beauty-retail concept with locations across the globe has launched Accelerate, a program for female founders of beauty startups.

Currently, female entrepreneurs do not have the same access to funding, connections, or business instruction as male entrepreneurs do, a fact reflected by the statistic that 85% of venture capital funded start-ups are led exclusively by men, according to a statement released by Sephora. The SEPHORA Accelerate program was designed to foster a community of innovative female founders in all areas of the beauty industry.

“We saw a unique opportunity to draw from our history of working with beauty entrepreneurs to build a supportive community for women who are in the early stages of developing their businesses,” said Corrie Conrad, head of social impact at Sephora, in a statement released on the company website. “As a key initiative of our Sephora Stands social impact programs, which aim to use Sephora’s strengths for even greater good in our communities, we hope to build an ecosystem of support for more than 50 women-led beauty businesses with a social impact by 2020.”

According to the website, the 12-month program has 4 key components: design support, mentorship, and grants and funding, which ultimately lead to “Demo Day”–an opportunity for fellows to pitch directly to senior leaders from Sephora’s Merchandising and Innovation teams, and to receive a $2,500 grant.

Additionally, SEPHORA aims to inspire confidence in 100,000 women by 2020 through  Classes for Confidence, an April 2016  initiative that utilizes the company’s existing infrastructure and programs for even greater good. “This series of specialized in-store classes are complimentary and were developed to help inspire confidence in women facing major life transitions. Classes for Confidence offer a supportive environment where participants can learn and have fun, while also empowering SEPHORA store employees to make a difference in their communities. ”

To learn more visit: SephoraStands.com.