Sknmuse Wins $20,000 Cantu Elevate Grant

·2 min read

Budding, Black-led beauty brand Sknmuse has taken home the grand prize in Cantu Beauty’s 2022 Elevate Entrepreneur Pitch Competition. 

The skin and body care brand’s founder and chief executive officer, Ezinne Iroanya, was granted $20,000 and an invitation to attend the Business of Beauty Summit, which will take place in Atlanta in October. The summit is hosted by brand incubator and accelerator, BrainTrust Founders Studio, with whom Cantu Beauty partnered with for the grant.

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“Black founders are filled with ideas and dreams that sometimes die with them,” Iroanya said. “That is why initiatives like Cantu Elevate and BrainTrust Founders Studio are important. They provide resources for companies like mine to thrive on fertile soil.”

With her winnings, Iroanya plans to open Sknmuse’s first warehouse in Los Angeles, a vital step that she said will aid in the brand’s expansion, among other things.

“We’ll be launching another product, and launching our WeFunder campaign to give our community the opportunity to invest in us,” Iroanya said.

“Ezinne’s passion for people stood out to me,” said Dametria Kinsley, vice president of global marketing at Cantu Beauty, noting that Sknmuse’s refill program and ongoing therapy fund for Black youth were strong factors that made Sknmuse stand out.   

Other Cantu Elevate finalists included Sade Baron, and Lamik Beauty, who were each awarded with $10,000, while the remaining five finalists received $1,000 each. 

In addition to the Cantu Elevate accelerator program, Cantu Beauty embarked last year on a multiyear partnership with Gyrl Wonder, a nonprofit professional development organization for young women of color. Through these initiatives, Cantu Beauty aims to shine a light on the talent in communities of color, while supporting participating individuals in executing their entrepreneurial goals. 


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