Oct 5, 2020
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Sephora focuses incubator program on BIPOC beauty founders

Oct 5, 2020

Sephora is increasing its support of BIPOC-owned beauty brands, in order to boost its commitment to promoting racial diversity within the beauty industry.

Instagram @sephora

In a statement, the beauty retail giant announced that it will revamp this year's iteration of its brand incubation program, Sephora Accelerate, to focus on incubating founders who are people of color. First launched in 2015, the Accelerate program was originally focused on fostering female-owned beauty brands.

The six-month long program will provide those selected with a range of opportunities, including a business-building bootcamp, one-on-one mentorship from beauty industry and Sephora leaders, monetary funding including grants, and a shot at pitching their company to industry experts, investors, and senior-level Sephora leaders. According to a Bloomberg report, the program will host eight to 12 founders, and this year's exact financial details have yet to be disclosed. 

The new focus of the program is intended to build on Sephora's commitment to Aurora James' 15% Pledge -- a pledge to dedicate 15% of its shelf space to Black-owned companies -- which the company signed onto in June, making it the first brand to accept the pledge. 

Applications for this year's program close on October 15, and finalists will be notified on December 15. The program will run from January through June, 2021. 

Though not explicitly guaranteed, all brands who complete the incubation program are likely to be launched with Sephora. 

At the time of the accelerate program's five-year anniversary in March, the program had donated over $850,000 in grants and funding to participating founders, with funds going toward expenses like fulfilling purchase orders, purchasing inventory, scaling operations and taking on new hires, the company said. 

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