Sainsbury’s champions black founder-led brands with successful £1m incubator programme
Sainsbury’s has announced the first three black founder-led brands to be stocked on its shelves this year after they were chosen to take part in the Thrive with Sainsbury’s incubator programme.
Launched last summer, the scheme was a free 16-week programme with a £1 million commitment to supporting black founder-led start-up businesses transition to supermarket shelves.
Silika Shellie-Manso, director of grocery innovation at Sainsbury’s said: “We’ve seen some great and aspiring talent over the past 16-weeks and have loved working with all the businesses involved. It was such a difficult decision to pick the first three businesses that will be listed at Sainsbury’s, but we believe these new brands are a perfect fit for our customers.”
Working in partnership with Foundervine and Mission Ventures, Sainsbury’s sought to combat the barriers black and ethnic minority start-up businesses face, including reduced industry knowledge, insufficient access to funding, and limited social capital and networks.
Nine applicants were selected to receive an initial grant of £20,000 followed by further funding and support grants over the 16 week period. They also had access to one-on-one training and group learning opportunities with experts, as well as support for business branding, production and product improvements.
Following a pitch to gain a permanent place on the supermarket’s shelves, three brands have so far been selected to have their products stocked by Sainsbury’s later this year. These include ready to drink cocktail brands Mirror Margarita and Riddles Ice Tea and snack brand RAISE Snacks.
Sainsbury’s will continue to work closely with all of the other brands involved in the project and said it may also announce further listings in the future.
Shellie-Manso added: “We launched Thrive with Sainsbury’s to give black founder-led start-up brands access to quality support and services to which they wouldn’t otherwise have access to, as innovation and inclusivity are at the heart of what we do. What these brands have achieved over the last sixteen weeks is phenomenal and we hope all businesses involved can take away skills and knowledge to help them grow even further. For the three selected brands, we’re so excited to welcome them into the Sainsbury’s fold.”
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