THE LIP BAR LAUNCHES ‘BAWSE VENTURES’ GRANT PROGRAM TO EMPOWER BIPOC AND WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS Award-Winning Inclusive Beauty Brand The Lip Bar Inc. Continues to Champion Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Entrepreneurship With New Grant Program to Provide Seed Funding

News release by The Lip Bar

facebook icon linkedin icon twitter icon pinterest icon email icon DETROIT, Michigan | February 21, 2024 08:57 AM Eastern Standard Time


The Lip Bar Inc., the trailblazing beauty company known for its commitment to authenticity and inclusivity, announces ‘Bawse Ventures’, a micro-fund initiative aimed at supporting the next generation of BIPOC and women entrepreneurs. The program seeks to provide grant and seed funding to small businesses, addressing the critical need for financial support in the early stages of entrepreneurial journeys.


The application is now available with submission criteria including:

  1. Eligibility: Business sells product or offers a service, with annual revenue of at least $50K or more, and BIPOC individuals must own at least 50% or more equity in the company
  2. Purpose: The inspiration and reasoning for the business, included but not limited to how it improves the quality of life for customers, proven interest in products/services, and goals to take the business to the next level
  3. Selection: The Lip Bar will offer up to three business owners up to $25k in funding, along with quarterly mentorship for 1-year with Founder and CEO Melissa Butler and access to selected members of Butler’s professional network


The application window is open now through April 12th, with finalists notified in June 2024 and winners announced in September 2024.


Since launching in 2012, The Lip Bar has thrived as a community-based business, driven by the unwavering support of its customers. Bawse Ventures, whose name is inspired by the brands iconic number one red matte liquid lipstick, Bawse Lady (notably loved and supported by Former First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama, Actress Taraji P. Henson, and more), embodies the spirit of empowerment and a universal movement, encouraging women to embrace confidence in their entrepreneurial journeys – never hesitating to stand out and be a ‘bawse’ in their endeavors.


Having encountered the hurdles of transitioning a new business from its initial stages to a larger scale, Butler has gained firsthand insight into the challenges entrepreneurs face. Witnessing the disparities in early-stage funding, particularly for business owners of color who may lack access to family or friends for financial support, Butler recognized both an opportunity and a responsibility. Motivated by her own journey, she is now driven to inspire and invest in the next generation of entrepreneurs. “The Lip Bar was built as a community-based business,” says Butler. “Our customers’ support and belief in us allowed us to make history, and now it’s time for us to give that same love, care, and contribution back.”


This initiative honors a commitment to paying it forward and creating opportunities for those who, like Butler, may not have had the same financial support to turn their dreams into reality. As BIPOC businesses hold the highest percentage of being underfunded and neglected in receiving financial backing and access to DEI programs to help get to the next level, Bawse Ventures aims to do just that.


"Many people are able to raise friends and family rounds to get their businesses off the ground. But in the black and brown community, we don’t have friends and family with excess dollars to give. So, I want to be the friend that allows that next generation of entrepreneurs to follow their dreams fearlessly," Butler adds.

The combination of mentorship and funding is important for the growth and expansion of BIPOC businesses, as shown in Butler’s network of mentors and friends that has helped accelerate the success of TLB. Bawse Ventures aims to break down barriers and provide crucial resources to empower budding entrepreneurs in building their own success stories.


About TLB

TLB is a beauty brand started in the kitchen of Founder and CEO, Melissa Butler while working on Wall Street. Since her early days of developing formulations, The Lip Bar has become a pioneer on clean beauty and inclusion, proudly founded and owned by a self-made Woman of Color. Since its launch in 2012, Butler has been on a mission to change the way people think about beauty. Believing that all beauty brands have the capacity to represent all beauty lovers, while creating clean and exciting products.




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