Black Beauty Founders Join Sephora’s Women’s Business Accelerator

Sephora is more than a one-stop-shop for beauty products. Over the past five years, Sephora has made a commitment to help women entrepreneurs in the beauty industry grow and accelerate their businesses through Sephora Accelerate.

Sephora Accelerate is dedicated to building a community of innovative female founders in beauty. The six months-long program begins with a one-week boot camp where founders acquire the necessary skills to create a successful business. Throughout the program, participants will receive one-on-one mentoring for specific business challenges from Sephora leaders and beauty industry experts; business grants; and the opportunity to pitch at the Sephora Accelerate Demo Day, where they present their company to industry experts, venture partners, and Sephora leaders to gain investments, advice on business growth tactics, and partnership.

Black Beauty Founders
Sephora Accelerate (Image:

This year’s cohort includes women founders from Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Mexico, Singapore, Germany, the US, and the UK. In the fifth year of the program, Sephora has reached its goal of supporting 50 business women-led businesses by 2020.

In a statement released by Corrie Conrad, vice president of Sephora Stands (D &I, Social Impact, and Sustainability) she said, “Our goal with the Sephora Accelerate program was to not only help 50 + high-potential, women-led businesses get their big break, but to also create a lasting and sustainable community for all those involved to benefit from long after their participation in the program.”

Conrad went on to say, “We are proud of what this program has accomplished in five short years, from helping dozens of individual businesses thrive, to creating personal and professional connections and education for all. The program is ever-expanding, and with brands from Germany and Singapore on board for the first time this year, we look forward to building an even richer and more diverse experience now and into the future.”

Meet the Founders

Kymberlee Hill, a co-founder of Curl IQ; Helena Mendes, founder of Mawena; and Dawn Myers, founder of THE MOST, are among the 13 founders participating in the accelerator.

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Curl IQ
Curl IQ

Curl IQ turns photos of textured hair into personalized product recommendations, offering consumers with textured hair an easy and personalized shopping experience, and helping brands drive customer interaction and conversation.

Black Beauty Founders
(Image: Mawena/Instagram)

Mawena is a vegan, cruelty-free, organic skincare line created through the prisms of green beauty for all, engagement, and inclusivity. The brand has a 100% Mayan Women’s cooperative in Mexico and donates a percentage of proceeds for each product sold.

Black Beauty Founders

THE MOST Mint is an all-in-one styling tool, which streamlines the process of detangling and applying product(s) to highly textured hair, making the process faster, easier, and more convenient.

Sephora’s Impact 

The accelerator programming focuses on guiding founders on their journey of achieving individual business goals through a multi-month program led by Sephora executives including but not limited to mentorship, marketing stewardship, networking, social media training, growth plans and funding strategy planning.

Over the past five years, women have received more than $850K in grants and funding to participating founders, with funds going toward things like fulfilling purchase orders, purchasing inventory, scaling operations, and new hires. Founders have also received assistance with securing space in major retailers including Sephora.

To learn more about Sephora Accelerate, click here.