Sephora is giving one Australian female beauty entrepreneur “the opportunity of a lifetime” to participate in the retailer’s fourth annual Sephora Accelerate “incubator-like business program”.

The chosen woman will join 12 female beauty entrepreneurs from the US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, France and China in the program which “aims to use the strengths of the business and the women within it for the greater good of the beauty community”.

The program includes:

  • a week-long initiation ‘boot camp’ in San Francisco with a schedule covering topics such as business structuring, market analysis and funding strategies.
  • six months of one-on-one mentoring with beauty industry leaders, start-up experts and senior Sephora employees alongside Sephora’s cross-functional teams (including strategy, digital and marketing)
  • a second trip to San Francisco for ‘Demo Day’ where the entrepreneurs will pitch their business to industry experts, potential venture partners and key Sephora stakeholders
  • a US$5000 grant with the potential to unlock additional funding and grants

Announcing Sephora Australia’s inaugural participation in the program, general manager Libby Amelia said that female brand founders are underrepresented in the beauty industry so, in 2016, Sephora pledged to support 50 women-led ventures through the Accelerate program by 2020.

Sephora is now more than halfway to reaching that goal with 31 entrepreneurs in the Sephora Accelerate cohort which is “a supportive community for women in the early stages of developing their businesses”.

“Australia is home to so many beauty brands that are known both here and around the world,” said Amelia.

“We’ve been crusading to have Australia a part of this global initiative, and are so proud that in 2018/19 we can. This is the opportunity of a lifetime and we can’t wait to see who we discover.”

The 2018/19 selection process will focus on three main categories within beauty: merchandising (make up, hair, and skin product), technology (digital, retail tech and apps) and sustainability (green packaging, biodegradable) with all businesses requiring a commitment “to the greater good in some way”.

Applications are now open and close on November 10th with the final cohort to be announced on March 8 next year.

Apply now: www.sephorastands.com/accelerate

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