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Putting black women entrepreneurs first

PICTURED: Richelieu Dennis

SHEA MOISTURE hair care and skin care products founder Richelieu Dennis announced a $100 million fund for women entrepreneurs at the 2018 Essence Festival (July 8). The big move comes as a part of the New Voices Fund that he has been prepping for the past year.

“About six months ago, we announced that we were launching the New Voices fund,” Dennis told the audience at the press conference during the Essence Festival.

“I’m proud to say that we get to officially launch the $100 million New Voices Fund for women of colour entrepreneurs here at Essence Festival this weekend. Over the past six months, we have already either invested in or committed to, over $30 million in black women entrepreneurs.”

Last year, Dennis sold Shea Moisture to global company Unilever. As a part of the business deal, he vowed to use the capital to support women-run businesses with a particular focus on black women. Unilever has also added to the hefty fund with an agreed contribution of $50 million.

The unprecedented commitment aims to create opportunities for women from underrepresented backgrounds while equipping entrepreneurs with resources to help the success of their companies.

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