Major cosmetic retailers are encouraging Black female entrepreneurship to help close the employment gap.
According to the Harvard Business Review, 17% of Black women in the US were establishing or running new firms last year. This compares to 15% of white men and 10% of white women.
But barely 3% of Black women own mature firms.
The Labor Department reports that the traditional workforce unemployment rate for Black women was 5.5 percent in March, compared to 3.6 percent for all Americans. During the same time period, 4.2% of Hispanic women were unemployed. It was 2.8% for white women.
Major shops like Ulta, Sephora, and Target have launched start-up incubators and diversity programmes to help small firms and promote Black entrepreneurship.
With Rare Beauty Brands and Black Girl Ventures, Ulta Beauty hosted its second pitch competition for minority-owned beauty companies this month. Founders create a three-minute proposal in hopes of boosting their enterprises.
The first-place winner will get $10,000 and six months on Ulta’s shelves. The crowd selects the winners. The final round of voting closed on April 14. Next week’s winner is announced.
The tournament also offers essential mentoring. Rare Beauty Brands helps with business owners following the pitch.
“We already know that Black women use more beauty products than their fair share, but funding for Black female businesses is drastically underdeveloped,” said Rare Beauty Brands CEO Chris Hobson. The initiative aims to “right a wrong, thank a large segment of our client base, and strive to be part of the solution.”