Tag Archives Richelieu Dennis

SheaMoisture’s Founder Launching $100 Million Fund To Support Women Entrepreneurs Of Color

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Good news for all those women creatives out there! On Thursday, SheaMoisture haircare and skincare products founder Richelieu Dennis announced a $100 million fund for women entrepreneurs of color at the 2018 Essence Festival. The announcement surrounds the New Voices Fund that he’s been prepping for the past year.

Through the New Voice Fund, Dennis says they have already invested or committed to over $30 million in black women entrepreneurs, Black Enterprise reports. When Dennis sold SheaMoisture back in 2017, he vowed as part of the deal that he would use the money to create an investment fund for minority entrepreneurs, specifically women of color.

In addition to creating the fund to provide investment opportunities, Dennis wants to equip entrepreneurs with other resources to help contribute to the success of their companies.

“We are going to leverage the businesses that we’ve built—many of you know, Shea Moisture, Nubian Heritage, Madame CJ Walker,” he said.

Dennis is going beyond providing investment opportunities with the fund by giving women access to resources to boost the success of their companies. Women entrepreneurs of color are an underserved group, receiving less than 3 percent of venture capital dollars in 2018, despite black female founders starting businesses at higher rates than any other group.

The New Voices Fund provides a way for women of color entrepreneurs to approach Dennis for capital infusion. Because of the parameters of the fund, he is likely looking at businesses that are looking to scale and not just an idea on a sheet of paper.

All of the information is located on the site. If you think you’re ready, log on and apply.



Richelieu Dennis Founder Of Shea Moisture Purchases ESSENCE Returning The Brand To Black Ownership

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As far as print and digital media goes, ESSENCE has existed since 1970 as a staple publication for Black women,  and for the first time in more than a decade, the company is once again under Black ownership. Previously held by TIME Inc,  Essence Ventures LLC, an independent Black-owned company which focuses on merging content, community and commerce announces their acquisition of the magazine.

The current president of ESSENCE, Michelle Ebanks, will continue to lead the company and join the board of directors. The all black women executive team of ESSENCE will each have an equity stake in the company.

“This acquisition of ESSENCE represents the beginning of an exciting transformation of our iconic brand as it evolves to serve the needs and interests of multigenerational Black women around the world in an even more elevated and comprehensive way across print, digital, e-commerce and experiential platforms,” said Ebanks.

With Essence Ventures, ESSENCE will begin focusing on expansion with digital businesses via distribution partnerships, compelling original content and targeted client-first strategies.  ESSENCE will also expand internationally, with the publication, digital properties, and live events in global markets to celebrate the excellence and aspirations of black women everywhere.

Essence Ventures began in 2017, founded by entrepreneur and founder of recently sold beauty brand Shea Moisture.

“The strategic vision and leadership that Michelle has provided to ESSENCE Over the years has been exemplary, and we are thrilled to work with her and her talented team to provide the necessary resources and support to continue to grow the engagement and influence of the ESSENCE brand and transform this business” said Dennis.

Currently, ESSENCE Reaches a global audience of more than 16 million people across various platforms including the original print magazine, digital, video and social platforms, live events and television specials including the Black Women In Hollywood Awards on OWN and the annual ESSENCE Festival which attrracts more than 450,000 attendees each year.