Today, beauty giant L’Oréal USA announced the launch of its new Inclusive Beauty Fund, a grant program created in partnership with the nation’s largest civil rights organization, the NAACP.
According to a press release, this inaugural round of funding will award 30 one-time only grants valued at $10,000 to selected small Black-owned businesses, entrepreneurs, and professional services that span all areas of the U.S. beauty industry.
As a result of the devastating impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses all over America faced the wrath of economic fallout, with Black-owned businesses being hit the hardest of them all.
To combat this, L’Oréal USA decided to team up with the NAACP to identify the most promising Black-owned small businesses and entrepreneurs in the beauty industry greatly in need of investments.
“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,”said Angela Guy, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at L’Oréal USA, in a press statement. “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. 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.”
In addition to the fund, L’Oréal USA will provide grantees with professional mentorship and business development support with the help of top executives from some of its leading beauty brands and professional beauty products distributor, SalonCentric, a press release shares.
The Inclusive Beauty Fund — supported by L’Oréal USA’s newly formed Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board — is a part of its larger commitment to back the NAACP’s mission, which includes additional initiatives set to be announced in the future.
The fund’s advisory board, which is made up of up over 20 internal and external stakeholders, have all come together to brainstorm ways L’Oréal USA’s Diversity and Inclusion mission can continue to build the new standard in beauty to make the industry more inclusive.
“Black-owned small beauty businesses are the heartbeat of their neighborhoods, and beauty business owners are navigating tremendous challenges stemming from the Covid-19 and recent events,” said NAACP Chief Strategy Officer, Yumeka Rushing, in a statement. “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.”
Applications for new or existing beauty businesses of all kinds — including salons, spas, barber shops, stylists, makeup artists, entrepreneurs, startup founders, haircare specialists, and beauty schools — are open now until Feb. 18, 2021.
Selected candidates set to receive grants will be announced in April of this year.
For more information on how to apply for the fund, click here.