L'Oréal is working to prioritize diversity and inclusion to the beauty industry.
Last week, L'Oréal USA, in partnership with the NAACP, announced the launch of a new grant program called the Inclusive Beauty Fund, which will help fund Black-owned beauty businesses.
The Inclusive Beauty Fund will award 30 one-time grants of $10,000 each to Black-owned small businesses, Black entrepreneurs, and professional services in the U.S. beauty industry. The winners of the grants will be picked from applicants and will be announced in April 2021.
The program is backed by L'Oréal's newly formed Diversity & Inclusion Advisory board that, alongside leaders from NAACP, L'Oréal USA, and Salon Centric, will review and pick candidates as winners of the grants with the hope that these brands can continue to grow and support this community.
"As the leading beauty company in the United States, we believe that we have a responsibility to invest in the small business owners and entrepreneurs who are the lifeblood of our dynamic beauty industry," Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer of L'Oréal USA Angela Guy said in a press release. "We are proud to team up with the NAACP to advance our shared mission of creating a more inclusive and equitable world during this time of great economic vulnerability for so many."
Small businesses have immensely suffered from the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown and closures. And according to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), Black-owned small businesses are shutting down twice as fast, making this initiative crucial.
"Black-ownedsmallbeautybusinesses are the heartbeat of theirneighborhoods, and beauty businessowners arenavigating tremendous challengesstemming fromthe Covid-19 and recent events," Yumeka Rushing, Chief Strategy Officer of the NAACP said in a press release. "The NAACP isproud topartnerwith L'Oréal USA tohelp supportthese entrepreneurs and ensure the longevity of the services and community theirbusinessesprovide."
Not only will the these winners receive the one-time grant, they will also be given professional mentorship and business development support from top executives from L'Oréal's brands — which include Lancme, Urban Decay, Essie, Yves Saint Laurent, and more — as well as their product distribution company Salon Centric.
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"We hope the Inclusive Beauty Fund will introduce us to entrepreneurs in the beauty industry that we can build strong relationships with well into the future," said Guy.
Applications for the Inclusive Beauty Fund are now live through Hello Alice, a platform specifically created to support small business owners. The application window is open now until Feb. 18, 2021, and then winners of the grants will be selected and announced in April 2021. New and existing beauty businesses that are eligible include salons, spas, barber shops, stylists makeup artists, entrepreneurs, startup founders, haircare specialist, beauty schools, and more.