Black-led Beauty Pitch: Black Girl Ventures x Rare Beauty Brands

A new initiative is offering support to upstart Black- and Brown-led businesses.
A new initiative is offering support to upstart Black- and Brown-led businesses.

Let this number sink in: 40% of black-owned businesses could vanish in the wake of the coronavirus. Supporting Black-led businesses is more important than ever. In this context, Black Girl Ventures (BGV) has partnered with Rare Beauty Brands (RBB) to create the first national crowdfunding pitch event for Black and Brown woman-identifying beauty founders.

Applications are being accepted through Oct. 16.

The top three winners of the virtual competition will receive cash prizes, business mentorship with RBB leadership and more. All participants will gain access to the BGV Connect Incubator, which provides educational resources such as workshops and feedback sessions, as well as business development resources including virtual co-working sessions and funding opportunities.

Previously: No Going Back

How to qualify:

  • Company must be at least 51% owned by someone who identifies as a Black or Brown woman;
  • Must have a fully developed product or service, with real customers;
  • Must be early stage, but generating revenue (no minimum required);
  • Must be located in the United States and operate in the beauty and/or personal care industry, including but not limited to: skin care, hair care, color cosmetics, nail care, fragrance, bath and body care, tools and accessories, wellness.

More information is available at

BGV and RBB will narrow the field to the top eight applicants, who will present during the virtual pitch competition on Nov. 17. Finalists will have three minutes to pitch, followed by a two-minute Q&A from a panel of beauty industry professionals and celebrities, including Vanessa Simmons of Project Runway fame.

Finally, the audience will vote with their dollars to determine the winners. On Nov. 24, the pitch competition will be streamed online, and America will be invited to vote for and make financial contributions in support of their favorite pitch via SheRaise, BGV’s tech platform.

“This collaboration will provide our founders with access to funding, corporate mentorship, and access to our incubator platform, providing community, capital and capacity to grow their businesses in the beauty industry,” said Shelly Bell, founder and CEO of Black Girl Ventures. “We’re excited to join forces with Rare Beauty Brands to make this first-of-its-kind competition possible.” 

“We’re passionate about the world-changing power of entrepreneurship,” said Chris Hobson, CEO Rare Beauty Brands. “And as we navigate our own journey toward a more diverse and representative team, we’re proud to partner with Black Girl Ventures to create this important startup competition with a mission to lift up underrepresented groups, especially Black and Brown women.”


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