In an ongoing effort to promote racial diversity in the beauty industry, Sephora is taking steps to prioritize BIPOC-owned beauty brands through its brand incubation program, Sephora Accelerate. Originally established in 2015 to empower female-owned beauty brands, the program will now shift its focus to incubating founders who are people of color. This strategic move aims to provide more opportunities and support for underrepresented voices in the industry.

Participants in the six-month long program will have access to a range of resources and opportunities. This includes a business-building bootcamp, personalized mentorship from leaders within the beauty industry and Sephora, monetary funding through grants, and the chance to pitch their companies to industry experts, investors, and senior-level Sephora leaders. While the exact financial details for this year’s program have yet to be disclosed, Sephora plans to select and support eight to 12 founders.

This new focus on BIPOC founders aligns with Sephora’s commitment to the 15% Pledge, an initiative spearheaded by Aurora James. The pledge urges retailers to dedicate 15% of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses. Sephora was the first beauty brand to accept the pledge back in June, demonstrating its dedication to promoting diversity and representation.

Applications for this year’s Sephora Accelerate program are set to close on October 15, with finalists being notified on December 15. The program is scheduled to run from January through June of 2021. While completion of the incubation program does not guarantee a brand’s launch with Sephora, it significantly increases the chances. Since its inception, the program has provided over $850,000 in grants and funding to its participants. These funds have been instrumental in covering various expenses, including fulfilling purchase orders, purchasing inventory, scaling operations, and hiring new employees.

By prioritizing BIPOC beauty founders through its brand incubation program, Sephora is taking a significant step towards fostering diversity and inclusivity within the beauty industry. This move reflects the brand’s commitment to creating a more equitable and representative future. By actively supporting underrepresented voices, Sephora is helping to break down barriers and provide opportunities for BIPOC entrepreneurs in the beauty space.

For more information on Sephora’s brand incubation program and its commitment to diversity, please visit their official website: https://www.sephora.com/