PARIS – Sephora plans to stretch the geographic reach of its program for entrepreneurial women in the beauty space, called Sephora Accelerate, the perfumery giant announced during the Viva Technology forum in Paris on Thursday.
“We are looking to expand. It’s a program that is in the Americas. We will keep you posted, because we are going to open it up to other areas in the world. So there might be a bit of a hint on the screen here,” said Elizabeth Anglès d’Auriac, chief executive officer of S+ Sephora, during her speech, referring to a photograph of the Eiffel Tower.
“We think that there are female founders in the beauty industry out there everywhere, and we would be delighted to connect with them, to help them realize their dream, their product, their service tech idea [that has] a real sustainable [input],” she continued.
Sephora began the accelerator program, which is part of its over-arching Sephora Stands initiative, one year ago. Its aim is to build a community of innovative female founders in beauty and involves a one-week boot camp for founders to work on skills. There is also one-on-one mentorship from industry and Sephora leaders; grants and funding, plus paid trips to San Francisco for program events, and a day to present companies to experts, venture capitalists and senior Sephora executives.
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The program’s objective is to launch 50 female entrepreneurs by 2020.
There were eight women selected to take part in the initiative last year. Of them, five were linked up with retailers. “One with Sephora, but four others with other retailers – we have absolutely no problem with that,” said Anglès d’Auriac. “And three got venture funding.”
The start-up brand currently sold in Sephora is LXMI, with organic and natural skin-care products.
As reported, Bernard Arnault, chairman and ceo of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Sephora’s owner, attended Viva Tech’s opening day on Thursday, where he touted start-up mentality. French President Emmanuel Macron was in attendance, as well.