There’s a reason why Black don’t crack. 

Survey data says 82 percent of Black women feel self-grooming is a key part of our lives, and 52 percent adhere to a set skincare regimen. This is evidenced by the exorbitant amount of money Black consumers spend on hair and skincare each year– $1.5 trillion in 2022.

Yet despite our spending power, Black women entrepreneurs only own a small corner of the market. Essence and Aveeno® are aiming to change that. 

The Aveeno® brand has recently announced its second year of the Aveeno® Skin Health Startup Accelerator Pitch Competition in collaboration with ESSENCE. The program aims to recognize, empower and amplify the power of Black female-identifying entrepreneurs in offering new solutions for all skin and hair types. 

“As a brand that started from humble beginnings, like many others before us, we feel an innate responsibility to pay forward the support and guidance we received along the way to these inspiring Black women entrepreneurs who are working so hard to break into the industry,” says Steve Reis, Senior Brand Manager of Aveeno®, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc in a news release. “Dr. Isfahan Chambers-Harris and Ariane Turner are savvy leaders with a clear vision for the type of change they want to drive, and we’re humbled to be helping them pursue their ambitions. We’re fortunate that ESSENCE shares this vision with us and have high hopes for year two of the Skin Health Startup Accelerator program’s enduring commitment to creating equitable opportunities in the skincare industry.”

Aveeno® ‘s Skin Health Startup Accelerator program will give the winner $100,000 to support business growth and an all-expense paid trip to ESSENCE Fest, a high visibility forum where the winners will be recognized. The award will also include hands-on business guidance and mentorship from the best and brightest thought-leaders in everything from package design, marketing, accounting, and more.  

“ESSENCE is the place 31 million Black women unapologetically call home, ‘in the skin they are in.’ Another year of collaboration with Aveeno® on the Skin Health Startup Accelerator Pitch Competition is demonstration of the equitable attention necessary to service Black skin health,” said ESSENCE CEO, Caroline Wanga in a news release. “At ESSENCE, we believe that economic inclusion is a human right. We are committed to ensuring that we build Black entrepreneurial growth and generational wealth through supporting Black businesses with purpose, access, capital, and expertise through our New Voices Fund and Foundation, in addition to our comprehensive portfolio of programs and products. I am cheerfully anticipating how this continued partnership will elevate the next generation of Black-owned skin health enterprises.”

To enter, follow the steps by submitting directly on the entry page, here.

Hit the ENTER NOW button and fill out the form. Entries close at 11:59 PM EST on April 30, 2022. Tell us your WHY. Create a 1-2-minute video introducing yourself, your business, and WHY you got started. Explain how natural ingredients play a key role in your product(s) and your business. Lean into modern video storytelling and provide a vertical video if you’d prefer.

Upload your video, review required information, and submit!