The Gee Code: How Will HBCUs Influence The Magnificence/E-Commerce Tech Sectors?

Jersey CityInnovation is key to progress, and Spelman College, once again has shown us why it has reigned supreme as the #1 HBCU in the country for 17 consecutive years. Spelman announced it is pioneering a groundbreaking initiative that is bound to revolutionize the beauty and e-commerce tech sector: the introduction of a cosmetic chemistry program,

Spelman’s innovative move seeks to ensure that diverse beauty products and inclusive research can be developed on its campus, by Black women. This effort offers a huge opportunity for aspiring beauty founders at Spelman college, who can now utilize the program to develop new formulas in ways that have been done at PWIs for decades. 

While often dismissed as tech founders, startup founders in the cosmetic industry who utilize e-commerce and the creator economy to scale are just as technical as those building the Ubers of the world. They simply speak a language rooted in aesthetics and marketing.

It would be amazing to see the program be available to students at other HBCUs who are deeply invested in the beauty industry, but have yet to have a chance to dive into the chemical side of it.

Moreover, there is large room for this program to expand into a major, that can later have an entrepreneurship focus teaching students how to scale their products and seek funding,

The cosmetic chemistry program, set to launch in the fall, will offer a concentration in cosmetic chemistry for chemistry majors and a minor in cosmetic science for students majoring in other areas. Dr. Pamela Scott-Johnson, Spelman’s Provost, underscores the importance of this expansion, stating that it “speaks to Spelman’s innovation and commitment to empowering Black women.” This initiative is not merely about academic enrichment but about empowering students to make a tangible impact in an industry that caters to Black women as consumers.

Moreover, the program’s growth from 150 to 750 applications underscores the pressing need for expanded undergraduate offerings in the cosmetic sciences. 

With research and innovation at the forefront of this program, Spelman has created an opportunity for its students to cultivate intellectual property and to innovate in ways other HBCUs have yet to imagine.

Keeping it gee, Spelman’s initiative signals a transformative shift in the beauty and e-commerce tech sector, one where HBCUs play a pivotal role in driving innovation and inclusivity. As Black consumers continue to wield substantial purchasing power, Spelman’s commitment to empowering Black women through STEM education is not only commendable but essential for driving meaningful change in the industry.

Miranda Perez (she/her/hers) is a Jersey City, NJ-based journalist who covers the tech industry. Follow her on X and Instagram: @mimithegee.

Edited by NaTyshca Pickett

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