Hair stylist

L’Oréal USA has announced the creation of itsInclusive Beauty Fund, a new grant program in partnership with the NAACP. Through this inaugural round of funding, L’Oréal will award 30 one-time grants of $10,000 each to Black-owned small businesses, Black entrepreneurs and professional services in all sectors of the U.S. beauty industry.

As small businesses in America have been hit the hardest by the economic fallout of the pandemic – and Black-owned businesses are shutting down twice as fast as others according to the National Bureau of Economic Research – L’Oréal is partnering with the NAACP to identify the most promising Black-owned small businesses and entrepreneurs in the beauty industry that are most in need of investment.

“As the leading beauty company in the United States, we believe that we have a responsibility to invest in the small-business owners and entrepreneurs who are the lifeblood of our dynamic beauty industry. We are proud to team up with the NAACP to advance our shared mission of creating a more inclusive and equitable world during this time of great economic vulnerability for so many. We hope the Inclusive Beauty Fund will introduce us to entrepreneurs in the beauty industry that we can build strong relationships with well into the future,” said Angela Guy, chief diversity and inclusion Officer at L’Oréal.

In addition to one-time funding, L’Oréal is committed to providing grantees with professional mentorship and business development support with the participation of top executives from its leading beauty brands, as well as its professional beauty products distributor, SalonCentric. The Inclusive Beauty Fund is part of the company's larger commitment to support the NAACP’s mission, and will include additional initiatives to be announced in the future.

The initiative is backed by L’Oréal's newly formed Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Board, which will work alongside the NAACP, L’Oréal and SalonCentric leaders to review and select grant recipients. The advisory board, made up of up over 20 internal and external stakeholders, will work together on efforts to influence and reimagine social and inclusive strategies that support L’Oréal's mission to build the standard in making beauty inclusive.

“Black-owned small beauty businesses are the heartbeat of their neighborhoods, and beauty business owners are navigating tremendous challenges stemming from COVID-19 and recent events. The NAACP is proud to partner with L’Oréal USA to help support these entrepreneurs and ensure the longevity of the services and community their businesses provide,” said Yumeka Rushing, NAACP chief strategy officer.

How to apply

Applications for the Inclusive Beauty Fund will be administered by the NAACP in partnership with Hello Alice, a platform for small-business owners to identify the right path to start and grow their company. Applications for the financial grants are being accepted now through Feb. 18.

All submissions must be conducted through Hello Alice: Successful applicants will be announced in April.

Grants are available to new or existing beauty businesses of all kinds, including but not limited to salons, spas, barbershops, stylists, makeup artists, entrepreneurs, startup founders, haircare specialists, and beauty schools.