Sainsbury’s invests £1 million in incubator programme for black-led businesses
Sainsbury’s has launched a free 16-week incubator programme for black-led start-up businesses.
This has included the commitment of £1 million to supporting the transition of their products to supermarket shelves.
Created and delivered in partnership with Foundervine and Mission Ventures, the Thrive with Sainsbury’s programme is open to black-led entrepreneurial food and drink businesses with an “exciting new product” that is capable of scaling up to supermarket level.
In a statement, Sainsbury’s highlighted how difficult it can be to launch a new brand on a large scale without the right support and said the programme will aim to address the type of challenges that can often impact black and ethnic minority business owners more acutely.
Nine successful applicants will receive a welcome grant of £20,000, as well as more than 150 hours of practical one-to-one support and group learning opportunities. For each brand that makes its way to a Sainsbury’s listing, there will be additional funding available at various stages throughout the process up to the value of £105,000.
Silika Shellie-Manso, director of grocery innovation at Sainsbury’s said: “A key focus of our Win in Food strategy is to bring innovation to our customers and at Sainsbury’s we’ve always been passionate about seeking out new or emerging brands.
“As an inclusive retailer, we believe that to offer great food and drink for everyone, it should be made by everyone.
“We know that despite the strength of ideas and potential amongst black founders, often opportunities and success can be hindered by ethnicity, which is we are starting with this group of the most underrepresented founders first.”
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