L’Oréal, the renowned beauty group, has recently introduced a groundbreaking initiative called the ‘Bold Female Founders’ programme. With a fund of €25 million, this program aims to provide support to women-led start-ups. The initiative is a part of L’Oréal’s Bold (Business Opportunities for L’Oréal Development) venture capital fund and will primarily focus on investing in opportunities within the global beauty industry. This includes a wide range of sectors such as consumer brands, beauty tech, biotech, and green sciences.

Nicolas Hieronimus, the CEO of L’Oréal, believes that this program is vital in addressing the gender disparities faced by women entrepreneurs. Furthermore, it allows L’Oréal to bring their sense of purpose to life by creating beauty that holds the power to transform the world. Gouzelle Ishmatova, the chief strategy officer of Bold, emphasizes that although 30% of start-ups currently supported by Bold are led by women, there is still a pressing need for a more inclusive venture capital industry. Women-led start-ups often receive less funding despite consistently delivering impressive results.

Research conducted by economist Anne Boring has shed light on the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs. In 2016, a survey conducted by Girls in Tech found that only 15% of start-ups that raised funds in 2015 were founded or co-founded by women, accounting for a mere 10% of the total funding raised. The launch of the ‘Bold Female Founders’ programme by L’Oréal is a step towards combating this gender disparity in entrepreneurial funding.

With a portfolio of 35 international brands and 20 R&D centers in 11 countries, L’Oréal stands as the leading beauty group worldwide. The company boasts a remarkable workforce of over 85,400 individuals and generated an impressive revenue of €32.287 billion in fiscal 2021. Through their ‘Bold Female Founders’ programme, L’Oréal demonstrates their commitment to supporting women entrepreneurs and fostering innovation within the beauty industry.

Useful links:
1. Bold Female Founders Website (link to the official website of the ‘Bold Female Founders’ programme)
2. Accelerating Responsible Beauty with ‘Bold Female Founders’ Press Release (link to the press release by L’Oréal discussing the ‘Bold Female Founders’ programme and its focus on responsible beauty)