Latinxs spend more on beauty and personal care products than anyone else in this country. In 2020, Latinxs spent 13 percent more than the average shopper on beauty and personal care. And yet the industry continues to overlook our demands and ignore our needs. It is for this reason so many young Latinas have launched their own beauty products in recent years. The challenge, though, is that many Latinx entrepreneurs have a hard time securing venture capital. According to data from Crunchbase, Latinx-founded startups received just 2.1 percent of venture capital funding in 2021. As a result, beauty expert, former Sephora CMO, and Valdé Beauty founder Margarita Arriagada decided to launch the first annual Latinx Beauty Entrepreneur Grant.
When Arriagada noticed a severe lack of funding and mentorship for growing Latinx-owned brands, she knew she wanted to use her expertise and resources to make a difference. "Valdé launched at the end of 2020 earmarking proceeds to support BIPOC beauty entrepreneurs to improve representation. In this past year as I grew my brand, I received so much support from the Latinx community," Arriagada tells POPSUGAR. "Not just for Valdé but for me as a founder, with encouragement to keep going and stay the course. It was natural to assign our first grant initiative to this community."
The grant will help fund the next Latinx-owned beauty business and will serve as a competition stemming from the Valdé NFT Collective. Beauty entrepreneurs are required to submit an application, which entails pitching their brand based on their company's mission, product offerings, an overall business plan, and how they plan on impacting their communities. After reviewing all the applications, Arriagada will select three semifinalists who will then be given the opportunity to pitch their brands to a panel of beauty-industry experts and judges that include Live Tinted founder and CEO Deepica Mutyala, Nyakio Beauty founder and CEO and Thirteen Lune cofounder Nyakio Grieco, Beautyblender creator and CEO Rea Ann Silva, and #WeAllGrow Latina founder and CEO Ana Flores.
"We wanted to have representation from individuals who themselves have gone the distance to realize their own vision," Arriagada says. "People who have struggled, felt broken, knocked on doors, were resourceful in their own way, did not give up, and are empowered in their own right. These are the people that can spot a diamond."
The winner will receive a $10,000 cash grant along with free consulting services worth $200,000 from sponsors including Pamela Rosario Law, The Bonita Project, School House, The Dream Lab, and Beauty Barrage. They will be given the opportunity to pitch to beauty retailers including Thirteen Lune, Ulta Beauty, and Sephora and will receive a ticket to the three-day #WeAllGrow Summit in Palm Springs.
The grant application officially opened on May 4 and will close on May 23. Wondering what you need to be eligible for the grant? All applicants must meet the below criteria:
Celebrity makeup artist and Around the World Beauty founder Stephanie Flor plans on applying for the grant herself. Flor has been formulating her own beauty products has been looking for an investor who believes in the vision she has for her global-beauty-inspired beauty brand.
"Finally a grant by our own for our own. We're in rooms where we have to fight to be understood."
"I'm excited to apply for the Valdé Latinx beauty grant because it understands exactly what we need to be seen and heard as a brand founder. Finally a grant by our own for our own. We're in rooms where we have to fight to be understood," she tells POPSUGAR. "I'm looking forward to pitching my brand to a team of women who know my story because it's theirs too. Hard work isn't enough. We need the mentorship to provide guidance on building a Latinx legacy brand to make the difference we know we're capable of creating. This is the first step towards building that table."
"There are not enough angel investors that discern the potential opportunity to offer investment. Because often it is not obvious. It is obvious to us because we are living the challenge every day, either from a lack of representation or lack of proper narrative."
Early-stage funding is critical to getting a business off the ground, and for a lot of Latina entrepreneurs who don't come from money or aren't sitting on a ton in savings, being able to financially make their dreams come true could be a major obstacle. Not only is securing venture capital more difficult for them than it is for their white counterparts, but it's also just as hard for many of them to get approved for bank loans. Finding an investor who sees the value in a Latina-owned beauty brand is a whole challenge in itself as well. This is enough to discourage anyone from even wanting to start a business in the first place.
"There are not enough angel investors that discern the potential opportunity to offer investment," Arriagada says. "Because often it is not obvious. It is obvious to us because we are living the challenge every day, either from a lack of representation or lack of proper narrative. Secondly, having the necessary investment does not complete the need. Mentorship, counseling, and proper resources are needed to help most brands refine their vision."
To apply for the Latinx Beauty Entrepreneur Grant, please visit ValdeBeauty.com.