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Sephora Launches Program to Get Women’s Beauty Startups Off the Ground

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Photo: Kimberly White/Getty Images

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Sephora is launching a program to support beauty startups founded and run by women. The Sephora Accelerate program is launching to give 10 female-led startups the opportunity to join a year-long program that helps them develop their businesses.

A press release from Sephora details the brand's plans to "to teach the necessary skills to run and build their businesses." Sephora also boasts that program members will receive "access to an exclusive mentorship program comprised of Sephora's network of beauty industry leaders," and have the opportunity to receive funding from Sephora. Fashionista reports that selected members will receive $2,500 in seed money from the get-go.

Sephora has created the program in response to the dismal statistics regarding female entrepreneurs. The beauty brand notes that 85% of startups that have received backing from venture capitalists are led by men. The program will look to shift those numbers through the Accelerate program, which aims to develop 50 women-led beauty startups through the year 2020.

Sephora also says that instead of a competition, they hope to create a collaborative environment in which all 10 of the selected startups can succeed. The members of Sephora's first Accelerate program will be announced in March.

Sephora is also creating a fund called Sephora Stands Together that will provide employees with assistance during times of hardship. The beauty retailer piloted the program after natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy and are now fleshing it out fully.

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