Black Business Incubator

Apply now for cohort 3

Developed in partnership with Mentor Black Business and sponsored by Morgan Stanley, the Black Business Incubator at Somerset House aims to help early-stage Black entrepreneurs unlock their full potential and allow their creative enterprises to thrive.

The hybrid (in-person and virtual) programme provides participants with monthly expert-led masterclasses, mentorship from industry specialists, free access to a co-working space, as well as a variety of community events. This is because we believe entrepreneurial success relies on being part of a supportive and inclusive creative community.

The first cohort of 15 entrepreneurs joined the Incubator in May 2021. Following this, with support from STRIDE, the second cohort of 35 Black-led businesses joined the Incubator in January 2022.

“The BBI has further empowered me to feel confidence in my business skills. Being in an office environment gives me a clearer head to think, feel relaxed and work. The opportunity to network with other BBI companies is invaluable and motivationally enriching.”

Akosua Boakye, AkomaAsa Performing Arts, BBI Cohort 1

Applications for the third cohort are now open, the deadline for applications is Sunday 19 June at 17.00.

What is the Black Business Incubator?

This twelve-month programme provides a combination of co-working and project space as part of Somerset House’s extensive creative community. BBI Members will also benefit from mentorship and interactive masterclasses led by leading professionals in the creative industries. 
The programme builds on the success of Mentor Black Business, combined with Somerset House's creative ecosystem and networks. The Black Business Incubator is part of Somerset House's wider Anti-Racism Pledge.


Are you an ambitious creative entrepreneur who is motivated to build your business skills to create sustainable growth? We’re looking for 15 Black- led creative businesses that are embracing innovation, pushing boundaries and making an impact. 

We welcome you to apply if you: 

  • Identify as Black or Mixed-race, and are based in the UK 
  • Have launched a product or services business within the UK that is less than 3 years old
  • Operate within the creative sector: this includes fashion, film, media, design, photography, gaming, marketing and advertising
  • Are motivated to gain skills and knowledge to help you grow a profitable and sustainable business
  • Are passionate about building your network and engaging in a 6-month mentor relationship
  • Are of any age

Over a 12-month period this free programme will provide 15 creatives business with: 

  • Access to 6-month mentorship from industry specialists 
  • Access to personal and professional development through monthly skill-building events and masterclasses 
  • Access to 6 months free co-working space (with subsidised rates for second six months) and bookable meeting space at Somerset House
  • Access to business opportunities through the wider Somerset House resident community

As part of the 12-month programme, you will benefit from free interactive masterclasses, mentorship and workspace, worth a value of £7,200. The successful cohort will have access to hot-desking space at Somerset House to help participants fuel their business creativity and build a network within the Somerset House community.


Somerset House is home to the UK’s largest creative community. We are a new blueprint for arts and culture, backing progress, championing openness, nurturing creativity and empowering ideas. 
When it comes to diversity, we seek to be an agent of change across our cultural programmes, our resident community and within the cultural sector. However, we are not complacent and recognise that much more is needed to create a truly inclusive creative community in the UK. 
For this reason, we have partnered with Mentor Black Business to provide Black businesses with the foundation to unlock their own value and realise their own potential. 
As a part of Somerset House’s Anti-Racism Pledge, we believe that by using our resources, community and space, together we can make systematic and practical change to the Black creative community in the UK. 

Cohort 1

Meet the members of the first cohort of the Black Business Incubator, who started the programme in May 2021.


Cohort 2

Meet the members of the first cohort of the Black Business Incubator, who started the programme in January 2022.


If you have specific questions about the programme, please email


Applications to be part of the 3rd cohort of the Black Business Incubator are now open! The deadline for applications is Sunday 19 June at 17.00.

The Black Business Incubator is sponsored by

Morgan Stanley Logo