In early June, at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement, Glossier made a $1 million (£800,000) pledge. The commitment included an immediate $500,000 (£375,175) donation to organisations combatting racial injustice, and another $500,000 (£375,175) in the form of grants to Black-owned beauty businesses. Today, 2nd September, those 16 grant recipients were spotlighted and welcomed into the Glossier community.
Glossier's grant initiative tackles the systemic issues that plague the beauty industry at large, including those the company is addressing within its own walls. On top of experiencing racism, anti-Blackness, and other barriers to entry, Black female business founders receive a staggeringly low percentage of venture capital funding compared to their white peers — just 0.2%, according to a 2016 study. To combat this, Glossier founded its own support program, which aims to both provide capital and 1:1 training to deserving entrepreneurs who are statistically at an unfair disadvantage right out of the gate.
The public application process for a Glossier grant (which closed in early July) was simple and straightforward: Any US-based Black beauty entrepreneur selling cosmetics, skincare, or products or tools for face, body, or hair could apply for a grant of $10K (£8,000), $30K (£25,000), or $50K (£41,0000), depending on the stage of their business. Under the leadership of Kim Johnson, Senior Community Manager at Glossier, the corporate panel assessed the nearly 10,000 applications submitted and offered a total of 16 grants to Black-owned beauty businesses.
The photo grid above shows each of the founders who will receive a Glossier grant. The impressive list of innovators and entrepreneurs includes Trinity Mouzon Wofford, founder of Golde, a Brooklyn-born health and beauty brand, Malaika Jones Kebede, founder of plant-based wellness collection Brown Girl Jane, sisters Nikki and Whitney who founded Melanj Hair, a company that specialises in textured hair extensions, and so many more.
From a scaling and support perspective, each founder will be paired with a relevant advisor at Glossier to help in growing their individual business for long-term success. Plus, over the next six months, Glossier's grant initiative will facilitate community-building programming to foster connection both within the Glossier community and amongst the cohort of grantees. The end goal: To make each of the 16 companies household names (like, say, Glossier).
Beyond funding and one-time donations, the Glossier initiative is an inspiring example of how successful brands can use their resources to uplift a new generation of leaders and change the entire industry for the better. As a consumer, you can help by supporting, sharing, or shopping these Black-owned brands, below.
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