Sephora believes, “you have what it takes to design the future of beauty.” The one year old Sephora Accelerate program, which provides support and mentorship to female entrepreneurs is expanding with an open application process in sustainability and technology.
“Sephora Accelerate is dedicated to building a community of innovative female founders in beauty. The months-long program begins with a one-week bootcamp where founders acquire the necessary skills to create a successful business. Together, you learn from beauty mentors and seasoned entrepreneurs and prepare for a final Demo Day in the fall.”
The Head of Social Impact for Sephora Corrie Conrad said, ” Even in the beauty industry, where most customers are women, female founder are still underrepresented. We see a unique opportunity to draw from our history of working with entrepreneurs to build a supportive community for early-stage female founders.”
As a woman working over 12 years in fashion on both the retail and service side I can see the need for a program like this. I spent many year wishing to find a group of similar women doing the same thing I was. I wanted to know how they worked through obstacles and pushed forward to grow their businesses. It is heartwarming to know a large well know company like Sephora has created a program to do just that.
As mentioned the program starts with a “bootcamp,” a week devoted to working on your business. Receive help structuring your business model, market analysis, growth plan, and funding strategy. Then a mentorship, to tackle business challenges and grow through one-on-one mentoring from beauty industry leaders and Sephora leaders. In addition to two all-expense paid trips to San Francisco for program events, attendee’s will receive a monetary grant and may be eligible for additional funding. Finally there is a demo day, to present your company to industry experts, potential venture partners, and senior leaders within Sephora.
Having the ability to present to industry leaders is incredible. This is access most small business crave but seldom have the chance to do. Aside from the Accelerate program, Sephora is offering complimentary in-store “Classes for Confidence” for women that may have gone through unemployment or illness. Not to out do themselves, (but they have) this spring an additional course offering is Brave Beauty in the Face of Cancer to offer makeup advice to women surviving cancer. It is a proactive approach by Sephora to not only sell beauty products for the outside appearance but to instilling self-assurance and beauty on the inside too.