From skincare to hair care, Black women entrepreneurs draw from personal experiences to produce exactly what consumers need.
Bea’s Bayou founder, Arielle Brown, took home a grant for $100,000 according to a press release shared with AfroTech. The grant was issued to Brown for her pitch to Aveeno’s Skin Health Startup Accelerator Pitch Competition, in collaboration with ESSENCE. The competition opened for entries from Black women entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas on an innovative product, brand, or technology that focuses on skin or hair care for Black consumers.
The entrepreneur’s pitch about her Good Biome Scalp Solution was the front runner, granting her access to funding and expert mentorship. The solution is a natural probiotic that aids in loosening stubborn scalp scales using herbal bioactives.
Although Brown’s capital for her business was not always such a clear pathway, she was eventually able to come to terms with her projection and business plan.
Working with a securities attorney gave her a better understanding of how to prepare for financial success.
“Every step of the way has been educational, to say the least.”
“I was very ‘green’ to the VC [venture capital] world until I participated in Founder Gym and a pitch by Black Girl Ventures in 2020. Until then, I self-funded and that doesn’t mean $100k–no–that was $40. I just kept reinvesting and when I’d make some money, I’d buy something I needed. A few months into the business, I did those cohorts and those were my introductions to what it means to put yourself out there completely, numbers and all,” Brown shared with AfroTech.
The funding from the grant has opened doors for the thriving entrepreneur in addition to providing a space tending to a variety of scalp needs. Brown shares her journey with securing funding for her business and highlights how funding is a common challenge that Black women business founders face.
In part of her statement she mentions how her perspective shifted from a disregard for “asking for help” and reframed to the idea of “inviting others to a valuable opportunity.”
“That mindset changed my outlook entirely. For many Black women, we have not been told we could give someone an opportunity to build business with us. Instead, we are grilled that we ‘need help’ and ‘need to ask’ and that’s a completely different mind frame. Let’s be real. The world usually tells white men, specifically, ‘You can have anything’ and ‘You deserve someone’s help,'” she expressed.
“We get financial literacy later in life and by then, we may have made credit mistakes, have more expenses due to taking care of others, or just life’s responsibilities, she added.
“We get less time to do what we need to do with less resources. So it’s hard, but we got this!”
Brown plans for the grant funds to include innovative formulas for Bea’s Bayou, a website update for the scalp care brand, an ambassador campaign, improvement for packaging and shipping, and securing product certifications.