Black women-owned beauty businesses deserve more funding to help jumpstart their revolutionary ideas, and thanks to the PITCH PLEASE! competition a few lucky entrepreneurs will be able to do just that.

PITCH PLEASE! — a pitch competition powered by Pull Up For Change’s Impact Fund and New Voices Foundation — gathered several up-and-coming Black women-owned beauty brands to pitch their best business ideas that aim to disrupt the industry. After sharing why these brands are the next big thing to help shift the beauty landscape, judges announced this year’s finalists during the 2021 Essence Festival.

Winners of the competition — who took home $100,000 — include holistic wellness company Peak and Valley — which provides sustainably packaged, mindfully sourced, and inclusive products; and clean lifestyle beauty brand Peculiar Roots — which specializes in a unique line of products specifically designed to care for locs and natural hair.

Other winners include plant-based skincare and ingestible product company Undefined Beauty ($50,000); clean, luxury fragrance brand Moodeaux® ($25,000); skincare company designed with people of color in mind, Nuekie ($25,000); artificial intelligence (AI) hair recognition company CurlIQ ($10,000); and Chilon Industries, which designs state-of-the-art hair tools for curly hair ($10,000).

For many of these businesses, this kind of funding goes a long way in getting innovative hair care, skincare and wellness concepts off the ground. An investment in Black women beauty entrepreneurs is an investment into the changemakers of the industry who define trends and set the bar for the rest of the beauty space.

“Starting a business that involves developing a consumer product from scratch is not for the faint of heart,” Chilon Industries founder Paula Ilonze told ESSENCE. “I’ve had many setbacks and have navigated through challenges I’d never thought I could. To be recognized by Essence and Pull Up for Change for a random idea I had to make the lives of Black women with textured hair a bit easier is incredible.”

For more information and updates about the Pull Up For Change Small Business Impact Fund and other initiatives, click here.