Here’s How This Black Consulting Firm Is Helping Black Beauty Founders Claim Shelf Space

McKinsey & Company is on a mission to help brands make distinctive and lasting improvements that help to create positive, enduring change in the world. That’s why they’ve partnered with some of the leading Black beauty founders to move toward a more equitable market in which Black-owned beauty brands are more widely carried in stores.

Its efforts have included research to support fostering connections as well as finding solutions to the lack of representation of Black beauty brands in retail stores and supporting the 15 Percent Pledge, which urges retailers to dedicate 15% of their shelves to Black-owned brands to match the percentage of the Black populace.

McKinsey & Company has also created an accelerator program, Next 1B, to assist Black businesses in “attaining an equivalent company valuation of one billion dollars or more,” according to the company’s website.

The eight- to 12-week program helps founders unlock the mindset needed to grow their brand’s reach. Post-program, attendees retain access to all resources from the course as well as a directory of other Black founders. In the second phase of the accelerator, “Scalers,” those with brands that have already arrived at a $10 million valuation, are given a “growth diagnostic” to determine new distribution channels, product line expansion, and marketing activation. Attendees of the cohort work with McKinsey to create a plan of action for their next phase of business.

McKinsey senior partner Tiffany Burns says the focus on Black beauty brands is one that directly addresses inequality in the space.

“Black beauty consumers are growing in their spending, but at the same time, their needs aren’t being fully met. It’s a lost economic opportunity for real growth,” she said in a company blog post. “Even as Black beauty brands offer amazing new products, a constellation of issues, including underinvestment in new brands and not enough representation on retail shelves, holds them back. It’s a problem that presents a lot of opportunity, but requires convening multiple partners to solve—a natural role for us to get involved.”