The Sephora Beauty Grant

Enter for your chance to win $100,000 to grow your beauty business!

Fifteen Percent Pledge + Sephora Grant

Black business is on a growth trajectory. Currently, there are more than 2 million Black-owned small businesses in this country, and since the pandemic, the number of new Black business owners rose 38 percent. However, Black entrepreneurs continue to face systemic barriers when it comes to accessing funding to grow their businesses. At the end of 2022, Black startup founders received just $264 million of $33.6 billion in capital allocated - less than 1%.

These barriers extend into our banking systems, where 57 percent of Black business owners are denied a bank loan during the formation of their business.

For more than three years, the Fifteen Percent Pledge has been working alongside major corporations to re-evaluate their organizational structures, funding streams, and supply chains, in order to create new economic opportunities and greater equity for Black businesses. 

To date, 29 companies have taken the Pledge, signing multi-year contractual commitments and helping create the potential to shift more than $14B to Black businesses. The first company to sign the Pledge and join us on this journey was Sephora. We’re so grateful for the work we’ve done alongside them the past three years to forward this cause.

One industry we’ve seen immense growth in Black representation is in beauty. With leaders like Sephora, the beauty industry at large has made great strides in making more inclusive products and centering Black consumers, as well as increasing supplier diversity and the Black brands that occupy shelf space at major retailers.

A large number of our Pledge takers and our Business Equity Community–an online ecosystem of 5,000 Black businesses– also fall within the beauty space. 

That’s why we’re so excited to announce in partnership with Sephora, the launch of the Sephora Beauty Grant, awarding one Black business owner within the beauty industry a $100,000 grant to unlock the next level of growth and potential for their brand. 

As part of this grant, the Pledge team will help facilitate a bridge between the grantee and the Sephora team, continuing our mission to create an ecosystem where Black businesses and retailers can be connected.

Application Process + Timeline

Applicants must first create, update, or complete their business profile in our Business Equity Community in order to access award application questions. The application will be open for four weeks. A review committee will select semi-finalists, and the winner will be selected through public voting. Before you get started on the application, we recommend reviewing a resource document we created for you to submit your strongest application: Application tips and resources.

November 13

Application opens

Application opens

December 18

Application closes

Application closes

Early January

Finalists notified

Finalists notified

February 3

Winner is announced at the Pledge’s annual gala

Winner is announced at the Pledge’s annual gala

Eligibility Criteria

  • Member of the Fifteen Percent Pledge's Business Equity Community, brands MUST sign up and submit full business details to enter the award application portal.
  • Business sells a product and has annual revenue of at least $100K or more
  • Black-owned: At least one self-identifying Black person with 50% or more equity in the company
  • Has between 3-15 employees, including the founder
  • Fosters inclusivity and showcases community impact by pushing against systemic infrastructures that have not prioritized unique consumer needs
  • Businesses must sell a CPG product:
  • Must sell a product in at least one of the following categories: Beauty, Haircare, Makeup / Makeup tools, Skincare, Fragrance, Bath & Body, Must be in business for at least 2 years

Frequently Asked Questions

Black-owned businesses that sell products to consumers for their own use or enjoyment in the beauty category. This includes beauty, haircare, makeup / makeup tools, skincare, fragrance, bath & body. This does not include service businesses (e.g., hair salons).

Simply click on the ‘Apply’ button above to create a profile in our Community and complete supplemental award application questions.

Finalists will be notified through the main contact email provided in the Business Equity Community profile.

One finalist will receive a cash award.


We do not accept product samples during the call for applications. 

The information you provide will be available to the Fifteen Percent Pledge team and members of the review committee only. Please note that they all sign our Non-Disclosure Agreement.  

Sure, but your business must be based in the United States or have a legal presence here.

It may be subject to taxation. Payment of all and any taxes in relation to the cash award is the sole responsibility of the award winner.


We will not accept any applications after the deadline. 




Are you are a founder, venture capitalist, corporate employee, or other leader who wants to invest or contribute to funding a grant for a Black business owner?

Individuals can also donate here to support the Pledge's general operations and long-term organizational growth.

About the Fifteen Percent Pledge

The Fifteen Percent Pledge is a racial equity and economic justice non-profit organization addressing the inequities that exist throughout the American consumer economy and working towards closing the racial wealth gap. In recognition that Black people in the U.S. compromise nearly 15% of the population, the Fifteen Percent Pledge calls on major retailers and corporations to commit a minimum of 15% of their shelf space, sales revenue, and annual spend to support Black-owned businesses. In 2022, the Pledge was the recipient of Fast Company's Most Innovative Company of the Year Award.