Global News | Apr 25, 2019

Avon powers beauty startups in collaboration with Women Startup Competition

Avon today announced its partnership with Women Startup Competition Europe, a not-for-profit organization set up to inspire, educate and unite female entrepreneurs from around the world.

Avon has been backing beauty entrepreneurs for 130 years and as principal sponsor of the Women Startup Competition, it’ll not only be championing a whole new generation of female startups but also opening up its innovation pipeline to support its fast-beauty strategy.

Avon will sponsor the beauty sub-category of the competition by reviewing and screening applications and helping to judge the winners. For the beauty category winners, Avon commits to providing a customised mentoring programme within its Innovation Incubator to help support their business growth and the potential for future collaboration in commercialising their idea, product or brand.

In Europe female-founded startups account for less than 27% of the total and female investors represent only 7% of the funding pool. Women Startup Competition seeks to change that by acting as an incubator – providing support and connecting female entrepreneurs with investors to drive their businesses forward.

Louise Scott, Chief Scientific Officer at Avon said: “We are really excited to be partnering with Women Startup Competition. There is a great deal of alignment in our missions – fostering entrepreneurialism among women and encouraging innovation that benefits society, because we know when we create opportunities for women, we see the ripple effect benefit her family and her community. This alliance not only allows us to support more women in their business endeavors but is also very consistent with our mission to open up our innovation program to new ideas - allowing us to discover early promising new beauty innovations that could be highly appealing to our global network of Representatives and consumers.”

The partnership announcement coincides with the latest semi-final event in Budapest on April 25. Like all of the events held around Europe, female-run startups have the chance to take part in workshops and mentoring sessions to support their business growth and investment potential and present their pitch as the climax of the competition.

With millions of Representatives worldwide Avon is no stranger to supporting beauty entrepreneurs. Its global programme, stand4her, seeks to help create opportunities for women to build their own success in their own way and on their own terms - advancing the potential of women through the power of beauty. Alexandra Veidner, CEO of Women Startup Competition, echoed this desire to break down the barriers stopping women achieving their potential. She said: “Access to knowledge, experts, distribution channels, pricing and data is a huge help for startups at an early stage; on the other hand, engaging with innovative startups is a great route for big companies to achieve their own innovation goals. That's why at WSC, our goal is to go beyond classic sponsorships by running industry-specific programs with leading corporates like Avon. Avon's team has been wonderful and true to their company values during the negotiations to figure out the best format of this partnership, and we're really looking forward to working with them and empower female founders across Europe together."

Get the inside scoop on the new accelorator programme and the collaboration with Women Startup Competition in this exclusive Glossy interview