Executives of P&G Beauty and Egami on the creation of corporate paths – WWD

Across all industries, it’s no news that people of color face many challenges in growing and scaling a business that their non-diversified counterparts don’t face.

But what are these challenges and how can the founders overcome them?

Looking back on her 14-year journey building Egami Group, the integrated communications firm, Teneshia Jackson Warner, the company’s founder and CEO, said she would break down these challenges as four key barriers: curriculum, coaching, connections and capital.

In many ways, Warner said, these barriers are interrelated and built upon each other. For example, the resume, or an understanding of how to run a successful business and business KPIs, were a barrier in her path that came from not having family members to consider as examples or to provide the necessary connections. And looking at both coaching and connections, she cited the considerable benefit of “having a network of like-minded people” who had walked the path she was starting to walk.

Bringing evidence to the idea, Warner said the data showed that 70% of companies whose leaders are led outlive those who aren’t by five years.

“Having the right connections to open the right doors at the right time, whether it’s new business opportunities or capital opportunities, leading to the last barrier, being capital, is extremely important,” Warner said. “To put this into context for you, it has been documented that the founders of color are at an inherent disadvantage when it comes to raising capital. Black and Latino founders accounted for 4% of all venture capital dollars and only 2.3% of the venture capital dollars raised in 2019. If you go to 2020, only 2.4% of all Total US dollars of capital raised are for black and Latino businesses. Access to capital was also a great barrier ”.

When he began Egami Group’s business relationship with P&G, Warner admitted that the payment terms he had accepted were straining his small business and said he quickly learned the need to be honest about the company’s challenges. . In doing so, Warner was able to promote the business through the tools available to P&G Responsible Beauty, including tools created with JPMorgan Chase for capital and meeting with P & G’s supplier and diversity network.

From her perspective, Anitra Marsh, vice president of brand communication and responsible beauty at P&G Beauty, Warner’s story underscores the challenges many black and female-owned businesses face due to systemic disadvantages.

“As a large company, and P&G is a large company, we are looking at scale, we are looking at efficiency, but we often don’t think about the impact it can have on a small business, many of which are owned by people of color and women. “Marsh said. “With Teneshia and Egami, this is an agency that has delivered everything we have launched to them. We didn’t really appreciate how [our asks] in the short term it would have an impact on cash flow. And most importantly, I don’t think we fully appreciated how difficult it would be for her to express those challenges because she wanted to serve [a] the profits of large customers. I think the big lesson here is that relationships are fundamental ”.

This, Warner said, is the difference between the performative alliance and the kind actually supported by action to improve access and opportunities for color entrepreneurs.

The effort is what P&G is continuing to undertake with various initiatives.

P&G Responsible Beauty is working in partnership with Fairchild Media Group to offer a Fairchild Founders Fund, which would provide both a capital and mentoring opportunity for startups that make a difference in diversity, equity and inclusion. The winning company will earn business advice and mentoring from P&G Beauty executives, editorial recognition from WWD, and a salary to support the company. The deadline to apply is March 31st.

Click here to apply for the Founders Fund: DE&I Edition

Leave a Comment