Serial start-up supporter L’Oréal launches competition for stand-out UK businesses

By Becky Bargh | Published: 17-May-2021

Beauty businesses using innovation to positively impact the environment and social enterprises are invited to apply for the challenge

The world’s largest beauty brand L’Oréal is living out its reputation as a serial beauty backer with a new competition for UK and Irish start-ups.

The L’Oréal Beauty Tech For Good Challenge, in partnership with The Good Business Festival, is inviting start-ups that use innovation to have a positive environmental and social impact to apply.

Shortlisted companies will have to pitch their business to a panel of experts on stage at the Good Business Festival in Liverpool, UK, between 7 and 9 July, after which the winner will be announced.

The victors will receive mentoring from the Lancôme owners in-house team through a four month accelerator programme, as well as advice from senior management teams across L’Oréal UK & Ireland.

“At L’Oréal we believe that innovation is key to making tomorrow’s beauty more sustainable, responsible and inclusive,” said Lex Bradshaw-Zanger, Chief Marketing Officer at L’Oréal.

“The Beauty Tech for Good Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for entrepreneurs across the country to showcase their new ideas, and we’re looking forward to sharing our expertise to help accelerate the winning business.”

In March this year, the beauty maker invested in water-saving solutions firm Gjosa, a company L’Oréal has been working with since 2015.

The Swiss group, along with L’Oréal, teamed up in 2018 to develop a shower head that uses 1.5 litres of water to rinse shampoo, instead of the traditional eight.

L’Oréal has also thrown its weight behind envoPap, a start-up manufacturing business creating sustainable packaging and paper by using sugarcane and waste as an alternative to wood.

But it has not always been sustainable beauty businesses that L’Oréal is interested in making a profit from.

In December 2020, Jean-Paul Agon’s group announced that it was buying a minority stake in social selling platform Replika Software.

The brand’s turnkey platform allows brands to scale-up their network of social sellers and connect with customers.

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