Aveeno awards $150,000 to winners of 2023 Startup Collective competition

By Amanda Pauley | Published: 12-Oct-2023

The skin care brand’s annual initiative has awarded grants of US$100,000 and $50,000 to Gently Soap and Kushae

Aveeno has unveiled the winners of its 2023 Startup Collective scheme.

The skin care brand has awarded US$150,000 in funding to two black business owners who are addressing “unique” skin care needs. 

The Kenvue-owned company’s annual initiative aims to empower black female-identifying entrepreneurs in beauty to foster a more inclusive industry.

It supplies funding for business expansion and offers access to hands-on mentorship with Aveeno leaders across package design, marketing and accounting.

Aveeno’s first-place grant of $100,000 was awarded to Kristen Dunning, founder of botanical-inspired Gently Soap.

The beauty brand has created a line of herbal soaps that are tailored to those with extra-sensitive skin types. 

“I am truly honoured to receive this year's award,” said Dunning.  

“The resources offered through The Startup Collective are a source of great excitement as they will propel my business towards growth in helping to provide relief to those in my community struggling with skin health.”

Aveeno’s runner-up grant of $50,000 was awarded to Kimba Williams, co-founder of Kushae – a feminine hygiene range that targets women’s health concerns.  

The collection is all-natural, pH balanced and doctor-formulated, offering washes, balms and more. 

“The feminine wellness category needs products that women can feel confident in,” commented Williams. 

“The Aveeno Startup Collective will be instrumental in aiding us to bridge this gap by providing the necessary resources and mentorship. 

“This support allows us to continue instilling confidence in women seeking effective and reliable solutions for their wellbeing.”  

This is the third year that Aveeno has run its Startup Collective programme.

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