Press Release

Avon powers beauty startups in collaboration with Women Startup Competition

Opening up the next generation of innovation with incubator programme for female beauty entrepreneurs

Company Release - 4/25/2019 7:30 AM ET

LONDON, April 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Avon Products, Inc. (NYSE:AVP), today announced its partnership with Women Startup Competition Europe, a not-for-profit organization set up to inspire, educate and unite female entrepreneurs from around the world.

Avon has been backing beauty entrepreneurs for 130 years and as principal sponsor of the Women Startup Competition, it'll not only be championing a whole new generation of female startups but also opening up its innovation pipeline to support its fast-beauty strategy.  

Avon will sponsor the beauty sub-category of the competition by reviewing and screening applications and helping to judge the winners. For the beauty category winners, Avon commits to providing a customized mentoring programme within its innovation incubator to help support their business growth and the potential for future collaboration in commercializing their idea, product or brand.

In Europe female-founded startups account for less than 27% of the total and female investors represent only 7% of the funding pool. Women Startup Competition seeks to change that by acting as an incubator – providing support and connecting female entrepreneurs with investors to drive their businesses forward.

Louise Scott, Chief Scientific Officer at Avon said: "We are really excited to be partnering with Women Startup Competition. There is a great deal of alignment in our missions – fostering entrepreneurialism among women and encouraging innovation that benefits society, because we know when we create opportunities for women, we see the ripple effect benefit her family and her community. This alliance not only allows us to support more women in their business endeavors but is also very consistent with our mission to open up our innovation program to new ideas - allowing us to discover early promising new beauty innovations that could be highly appealing to our global network of Representatives and consumers."

The partnership announcement coincides with the latest semi-final event in Budapest on April 25. Like all of the events held around Europe, female-run startups have the chance to take part in workshops and mentoring sessions to support their business growth and investment potential and present their pitch as the climax of the competition. 

With millions of Representatives worldwide Avon is no stranger to supporting beauty entrepreneurs.  Its global programme, stand4her, seeks to help create opportunities for women to build their own success in their own way and on their own terms - advancing the potential of women through the power of beauty. Alexandra Veidner, CEO of Women Startup Competition, echoed this desire to break down the barriers stopping women achieving their potential. She said: "Access to knowledge, experts, distribution channels, pricing and data is a huge help for startups at an early stage; on the other hand, engaging with innovative startups is a great route for big companies to achieve their own innovation goals. That's why at WSC, our goal is to go beyond classic sponsorships by running industry-specific programs with leading corporates like Avon. Avon's team has been wonderful and true to their company values during the negotiations to figure out the best format of this partnership, and we're really looking forward to working with them and empower female founders across Europe together."

About Avon Products, Inc.
For 130 years Avon has stood for women: providing innovative, quality beauty products which are primarily sold to women, through women.  Millions of independent sales Representatives across the world sell iconic Avon brands such as Avon Color and ANEW through their social networks, building their own beauty businesses on a full- or part-time basis.  Avon supports women's empowerment, entrepreneurship and well-being and has donated over $1billion to women's causes through Avon and the Avon Foundation.  Learn more about Avon and its products at www.avonworldwide.com. #Stand4Her

About Women Startup Competition (WSC)
WSC is a not-for-profit business incubation platform with a wide range of services. Its mission is to inspire, educate women to start their own businesses, and to support and empower female-founded early-stage startups in their growth and funding. WSC's signature is a yearly startup competition series across Europe giving early-stage female-founded or female-led startups brand exposure and pitching opportunity, and presenting semi-finalists from each country at a London Final. Beyond the competition events WSC offers different mentoring programs for both SME and startup female founders, has good connections to VC's, angel investors, big corporates, local startup ecosystems, and has also a community of thousands of female startup founders across Europe.

Forward-Looking Statements
This material contains "forward-looking statements" that are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including statements relating to the Company's involvement with Women Startup Competition. Because forward-looking statements inherently involve risks and uncertainties, actual future results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the possibility of business disruption, competitive uncertainties, and general economic and business conditions in Avon's markets as well as the other risks detailed in Avon's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Avon undertakes no obligation to update any statements in this material after it is posted to the Investor Relations section of our website.

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SOURCE Avon Products Inc.