After overcoming challenges at a young age, the makeup mogul is living the sweet life with her cruelty-free cosmetics brand.


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A feature interview on Beyoncé’s website gave Beauty Bakerie founder and CEO Cashmere Nicole the push she needed to expand her beauty , but Nicole’s entrepreneurial spirit had been years in the making.

When Nicole became pregnant at 15, she worked tirelessly to put herself through school, relying on food stamps to keep her small family afloat.

While working full time as a nurse, Nicole decided to dive into the industry, creating the brand’s now-signature Lip Whip, a favorite with celebrities like Cardi B. and Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas. However, her budding was thrown a curveball when she was diagnosed with . As a 26-year-old single mother, she battled constant fear, but her resilience would later inspire her company’s motto: Better Not Bitter.

 “I just hope to continue to spread the mission of being sweet and sweeting the lives of others,” says Nicole.

Since her recovery, she has channeled her energy into creating products free of harmful chemicals that

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It will come as no surprise to anyone who’s tried to log in to the IRS’s “Get My Payment” website to check on the status of their stimulus check, or any business that’s applied for the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program: the federal government could use a software update.

Many users who have accessed, or tried to access, the government-run portals designed to facilitate these programs—some of the hallmark initiatives of the $2.2 trillion coronavirus aid package, known as the CARES Act—have encountered an array of tech-related difficulties. These challenges have shone a light on the technology deployed by the government—and prompted some to ask why glitches, crashes, and outdated turn-of-the-century interfaces are the order of the day.

The “Get My Payment” portal, for example, is supposed to allow Americans to track the status of their federal stimulus payment and enter their direct deposit information to receive their payment quicker. But users, especially in the wake of the portal’s initial rollout last month, found logging into the site easier said than done—only for some to realize that they just needed to enter their street address in all capital letters to be let in.

The SBA’s PPP portal, meanwhile, …

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This week’s episode of Leadership Next features Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga, who is one of the most articulate and passionate advocates of stakeholder capitalism I’ve met. You can get the full podcast here, but a few excerpts:

On COVID-19:

“We were all unprepared for this kind of circumstance. Whether that unpreparedness came from a lack of planning or a failure of imagination or hubris or a combination of all of those, it has led to a clear demonstration to everyone of how interconnected our world is, and how small it is, and how what affects one impacts everybody.”

On the acceleration of digital transformation:

“What COVID-19 has done is it has made people seem more comfortable with digital technologies across the spectrum of their own proclivities prior to going into the crisis. Their willingness to embrace digital is beginning to get a second impetus. …With 5G-enabled devices, and a crisis that has enabled people’s minds to embrace the idea, that’s a pretty perfect storm for an accelerator on digitization.”

On his commitment to stakeholder capitalism:

“I’m just a