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Glossier
courtesy of Glossier

Here’s how to apply for Glossier’s Black-owned business grants


TextAlex Peters

$500K worth of grants for Black beauty entrepreneurs are up for grabs

Glossier has just announced the details of its grant scheme for Black-owned beauty businesses.

A couple of weeks ago, Glossier made moves to become actively anti-racist in light of the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement, with a $1 million pledge to the Black community. Standing in solidarity with the fight against police brutality and institutionalised racial violence, Glossier donated $500k to organisations including Black Lives Matter, The NAACP Legal Defense, and Educational Fund, and the Marsha P. Johnson Institute.

Meanwhile, in an effort to make a long-term impact within the beauty industry itself, the brand also announced it was setting up an initiative to support Black-owned beauty businesses in the form of $500K worth of grants. More information about the scheme has now been released.

Focusing on US-based companies that sell physical beauty products, the scheme is split into three tiers depending on the stage of the business. Black beauty entrepreneurs can apply for grants of $10K for pre-launch businesses; $30K for early-stage businesses that have launched in the last 12 months; and $50K for growth-stage businesses that are over 12 months old and are working to scale operations.

In addition to the funding, Glossier will also offer grant recipients advisory support and monthly calls with domain experts in areas including supply chain, packaging, content strategy etc., as well as amplification on Glossier’s channels.

Applications will be evaluated by an internal panel consisting of Glossier employees across the company and led by community manager Kim Johnson. Submissions will be evaluated based on the brand, its message and its plan for growth. Glossier will have no ownership interest or equity in the businesses that receive grants.

Through this scheme, the brand is hoping to drive meaningful change within the industry and address the inequalities that exist currently across race as well as gender. In 2014, only 3.1 per cent of venture dollars raised by US-based companies went to women, while since 2009 a shocking 0.0006 per cent of the $424.7 billion raised in venture capital was received by Black women. 

In her letter, Glossier founder Emily Weiss also addressed the numbers the company released as part of Sharon Chuter’s #PullUpOrShutUp challenge, a campaign that calls on beauty brands to be transparent on the number of Black people they currently have employed in managerial and executive roles. Glossier shared that 43 per cent of its corporate workforce identify as people of colour including 9 per cent who identify as Black. There is currently no Black representation at the leadership level, although 37 per cent of its leaders and 60 percent of its board identify as people of colour.

“Creating an inclusive beauty industry starts with taking a hard look at where Glossier falls short and actively working towards building an organisation that better reflects the customers we serve and the world we want to see,” Weiss writes. “We plan to start holding ourselves accountable publicly by sharing our progress on an annual basis.”

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