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Brief Published: 8 Oct 2020

Beauty’s BIPOC Mentorship Programmes

Nomshado Michelle Baca

As we explore in BLM: Beauty Brands' Diversity Turning Point, shrewd beauty brands are taking a stand on economic inclusion and social justice in response to a consumer shift towards values-based consumption. New mentorship programmes for brands and creatives affected by systemic racism offer another altruistic avenue. 

Socially conscious Parisian fragrance house Sana Jardin has launched a new BIPOC Founder Mentorship Programme. It forms part of a wider series of initiatives designed to elevate and support BIPOC brand founders while giving them a broader foundation from which to grow. The first mentee is Nomshado Michelle Baca, founder of A Complexion Co. – an eco-luxury African wellness and clean beauty brand which launched two weeks before the UK went into lockdown as a result of Covid-19 in March.

With the salon industry being one of the most affected by the pandemic, Unilever-owned haircare brand TreSemmé has launched a new scholarship programme to support Black female hair stylists. It’s dedicating $100,000 to the first TreSemmé Future Stylists Fund, with 10 winners receiving $10,000 for cosmetology school. The scholarship aims to break down the financial barriers of entry into the world of cosmetology, while also giving access to Unilever’s support network.

“We have so many platforms that once women have their degrees, we can give them even more exposure and opportunities,” said Esi Eggleston Bracey, executive vice-president and chief operating officer of beauty and personal care at Unilever North America. “Why we’re starting at that scale is because we want to remain committed to the women […] we want to use our network to really advance investment in Black creators and entrepreneurs.”

For more beauty brand initiatives, see Glossier’s Grant Winners Accelerate Inclusivity. For insight into how indie brands are better catering to Black consumers, see Black Beauty: Indie Brand Learnings. For more on brand-backed mentorship, see Unlocking Access: Mentorship, Incubation & Connection, part of our Brand Engagement Spotlight series, Community + Commerce.