L’Oréal launches €25 million fund to support women-led start-ups
A few days ago, the L’Oréal group unveiled the ‘Bold Female Founders’ programme, an initiative designed to provide financial backing to women-led start-ups.
The project, developed within the cosmetics giant’s Bold (Business Opportunities for L’Oréal Development) venture capital fund, is endowed with €25 million in investment capital and, as L’Oréal indicated, it will focus on opportunities in the global beauty ecosystem in the broad sense: from consumer brands to beauty tech, biotech and green sciences.
“By addressing the inequalities that passionate women founders face in their entrepreneurial journey, we bring our sense of purpose to life: create beauty that moves the world,” said Nicolas Hieronimus, CEO of the L'Oréal group.
According to Gouzelle Ishmatova, Bold’s chief strategy officer, 30% of start-ups currently backed by Bold are headed by women: “a more inclusive venture capital industry means more opportunities for under-represented female entrepreneurs. As a matter of fact, start-ups led by women attract less funding, yet they consistently outperform,” she said.
Economist Anne Boring, in her work on the motivations of women entrepreneurs, and the obstacles they face, noted that, according to a 2016 survey by Girls in Tech, of all the start-ups that raised funds in 2015, only 15% were founded or co-founded by women. Moreover, these start-ups accounted for only 10% of total funding raised.
L'Oréal is the world’s number one beauty group, with a portfolio of 35 international brands and 20 R&D centres active in 11 countries, home to more than 4,000 researchers and 3,000 technology professionals. The group employs 85,400 people worldwide. In fiscal 2021, the group generated a revenue of €32.287 billion.
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