At the culmination of a grant competition opened to applicants last Friday, L’Oréal USA will give out 30 one-time grants of $10,000 to Black-owned business across beauty sectors: salons, spas, barber shops, stylists, makeup artists, entrepreneurs, startup founders, haircare specialists, beauty schools, and more.
“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,” says Angela Guy, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at L’Oréal USA, in a media release announcing the grant program.
“We are proud,” she says, “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. 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.”
L’Oréal launches Inclusive Beauty Fund in partnership with the NAACP
“Black-owned small beauty businesses are the heartbeat of their neighborhoods,” emphasizes Yumeka Rushing, Chief Strategy Officer at the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People); “and beauty business owners,” she says “are navigating tremendous challenges stemming from the Covid-19 and recent events.”
It’s the coincidence of those two facts that motivated the NAACP to team up with L’Oréal USA on the Inclusive Beauty Fund grant initiative. “The NAACP is proud to partner with L’Oréal USA to help support these entrepreneurs and ensure the longevity of the services and community their businesses provide,” says Rushing in the recent media release.
The Inclusive Beauty Fund began accepting applications on Friday January 29 and will continue doing so through February 18. All applications must be submitted via Hello Alice, an online platform that uses machine learning to match entrepreneurs and business owners with the right resources.
Beyond the $10,000 grant, each of the 30 Black-owned beauty businesses selected will also receive mentorship and business development support from top L’Oréal USA executives and insiders at SalonCentric, L’Oréal’s professional beauty distributor.
“The initiative,” explains the recent release, “is backed by L’Oréal USA’s newly formed Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board, who will work alongside the NAACP, L’Oréal USA, and SalonCentric leaders to review and select grant recipients. The Advisory Board, made up of up over 20 internal and external stakeholders, have come together to ideate as a collective on efforts to influence and reimagine social and inclusive strategies that support L’Oréal USA’s Diversity and Inclusion mission to build the standard in making beauty inclusive.”