For the First Time Ever, Sephora's Accelerate Cohort is Made Up Exclusively of Founders of Color
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Sephora

For the First Time Ever, Sephora's Accelerate Cohort is Made Up Exclusively of Founders of Color

Last year, Sephora committed a 15 percent pledge alongside founder Aurora James in an effort to show their support for Black-owned beauty brands on the market.

Now the beauty retailer is recommitting its vow to honor these brands be reintroducing its 2021 Accelerate incubator program with a renewed focus, which for the first time ever features a cohort comprised exclusively of founders of color, a press release shares.

Now in the program’s sixth year, Sephora is dedicated to evolving its business incubator  — which previously focused on cultivating an international community of female beauty founders while supporting the launch of more than 50 women-owned brands — to reflect its recent commitment of increasing Black and people of color representation on Sephora store shelves.

“Last year, we made a commitment to dedicate fifteen percent of Sephora’s assortment to Black-owned brands, and we quickly realized the role that our Accelerate program could play in not only helping us to reach that goal, but to set these brands up for long-term success and growth,” said Artemis Patrick — Sephora’s Executive Vice President and Global Chief Merchandising Officer — in a statement. “The goal of this program has long been to provide meaningful, ongoing support for growing brands, and that is exactly what we’re aiming to deliver to our 2021 Accelerate cohort. Each of the eight participating founders is inspiring in their own right, and we believe wholeheartedly in their potential at Sephora; we are so excited to help shape their futures and to ultimately introduce these brands to our clients.”

According to a press release, in addition to the incubator program itself, this year’s cohort will also feature mentorship from industry veterans and experts, as well as feedback and exposure to leading investment firms and venture capitalists.

Together, these not only establish Sephora’s commitment to launching a program that educates, but also builds a pipeline of support that promotes the long-term success of Black-owned beauty brands to advance the industry at large.

Sephora’s 2021 Sephora Accelerate Cohort of participating diverse founders — all of which applied in Fall 2020, includes Christina Funke Tegbe (54 Thrones), Marie Kouadio Amouzame and Alice Lin Glover (EADEM), Alisia Michelle Ford (Glory), Desiree Verdejo (Hyper Skin), Nia Wellman (Imania Beauty), Priyanka Ganjoo (Kulfi Beauty), Megan Graham (ries), and Olamide Olowe (Topicals).

Upon completion of the program, all participating brands and founders will be able to launch in Sephora, which keeps the esteemed retailer on track to double its assortment of Black-owned brands by the end of the year.

For more information on Sephora’s business incubator, click here.