Black Business Incubator

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.

For the second cohort of the Black Business Incubator which is supported by Stride, we’re looking for 35 Black-led creative businesses, based in South London to be part of our 12-months skill-building and mentorship programme to support you in growing a sustainable business.

The hybrid in-person and virtual programme will allow you to benefit from monthly expert-led masterclasses, 6-months mentorship and access to co-working space as we believe entrepreneurial success relies on being part of a supportive and inclusive creative community.

Applications are now open and close on Friday 29 October 2021. 

What is the Black Business Incubator?

The twelve-month programme provides a combination of co-working and project space as part of Somerset House’s extensive creative community. Entrepreneurs will also benefit from mentorship and interactive masterclasses led by leading Black professionals in the creative industry. 
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 35 Black- led creative businesses, based in Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark and Wandsworth 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
  • Currently living or have a registered business address in the South London boroughs: Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark or Wandsworth
  • 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 35 creatives business with: 

  • Access to 6-month mentoring programme with Somerset House residents 
  • 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 
  • A £200 one-off stipend to support you throughout the programme (e.g. travel, internet access)

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. 
Stride makes space for creativity and innovation in South London. Stride creates opportunity, develops talent and supports creative and tech enterprises.


Over 120 businesses applied to join the 2021 Black Business Incubator, of which 15 businesses were selected. Meet our Black Business Incubator class of 2021 who have taken part in the first cohort of the programme. For our second intake, we will grow in size to 35 creative businesses who will join us as part of the greater Somerset House Community. 

If you have specific questions about the programme, please email



Applications are now open. 
To apply to be part of the Black Business Incubator, tell us about yourself and your creative business by submitting the application form below. 
Deadline for applications: Friday 29 October 2021, 17.00 

The Black Business Incubator is sponsored by

Morgan Stanley Logo

With additional support from

Stride Logo