Essence Ventures, LLC, has kicked off 2018 by securing a major bag and giving Essence magazine control of its brand.
There is power in the purse!
Black women have reclaimed 100 percent control of Essence as Essence Ventures, LLC, announced today that it bought the magazine from Time Inc. The magazine’s president, Michelle Ebanks, is excited for what this offers the publication. She predicts that this will allow Essence the chance to flourish in a very meaningful way.
“This acquisition of ESSENCE represents the beginning of an exciting transformation of our iconic brand as it evolves to serve the needs and interests of multigenerational Black women around the world in an even more elevated and comprehensive way across print, digital, e-commerce and experiential platforms,” Ebanks said in a statement. “In addition, it represents a critical recognition, centering and elevation of the Black women running the business from solely a leadership position to a co-ownership position.”
While Ebanks will continue on as the president of Essence, she’ll also expand her role by joining the board of directors for the company. Did we mention that the magazine’s executive team, which is completely comprised of Black women, will also have equity in Essence? The publication will truly be by Black women and for Black women on every level, and that is exactly the way Essence Ventures wants it!
“The strategic vision and leadership that Michelle has provided to ESSENCE over the years have been exemplary, and we are thrilled to work with her and her talented team to provide the necessary resources and support to continue to grow the engagement and influence of the ESSENCE brand and transform this business,” said Essence Ventures Founder and chairperson, Richelieu Dennis. “As importantly, we are excited to be able to return this culturally relevant and historically significant platform to ownership by the people and the consumers whom it serves and offer new opportunities for the women leading the business to also be partners in the business.”
There’s no word on how much Essence Ventures shelled out to acquire Essence, but this money move is just the most high profile example of as Essence Ventures’ mission to encourage entreprenuership among people of color.
“We remain committed to leveraging our resources to provide opportunities for other culturally-rooted entrepreneurs and businesses that further our culture and create economic opportunities for our communities,” Dennis said in a statement
“Our focus here will be on ensuring that Essence reaches its full potential via heightened capabilities, technology, products and touch points that super-serve the interests of Black women locally and globally,” she added. “We look forward to helping generate new opportunities that create more value across the ESSENCE portfolio with unmatched content, commerce and international access for the millions of women it serves, as well as exceptional value for our advertising partners and content creators.”
For its part, Essence intends to rise to the occasion (if not exceed it), by continuing to deliver content that celebrates its readership.
“ESSENCE has always embodied and evangelized what the world now sees – the sheer beauty, power and magic of Black women,” said Ebanks. “From her influence in politics and at the polls, mandate for social justice, and demand for economic inclusion to her impact on beauty culture, leadership in equal rights efforts, and catalyzation of community empowerment, she is at the forefront – driving the cultural phenomena that are positively changing the world. ESSENCE will continue to lead that charge with, for and beside her as the unparalleled platform for her voice.”
If this isn’t pure Black Girl Magic, we don’t know what is.