Black Business Incubator

Developed with Mentor Black Business and sponsored by Morgan Stanley, the Black Business Incubator will help you unlock your full potential and allow your creative business to grow.

The twelve month programme provides a combination of hot-desking and project space as part of Somerset House’s extensive creative community. You will also benefit from mentorship and interactive, digital masterclasses and online learning 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.

Could it be you?

Are you an ambitious creative entrepreneur who is motivated to build your business skills to create sustainable growth?

Do you have an impactful creative business that embraces innovation, pushes boundaries and uses new ways of thinking?

We’ve created this programme for you.

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
The perks - why join?

Over a 12-month period this free programme will offer 15 creatives an opportunity to:

  • Participate in a curated programme of skill-building events led by Black business leaders from across the creative industries, including entrepreneurs and experts from companies such as Pinterest, Spotify and Engine
  • Be matched with a mentor from the Somerset House resident community for a 6-month mentoring programme
  • Gain support with developing a personalised business growth plan
  • Learn through commercial challenges to help you develop sustainable business practises
  • Receive a monthly stipend for the first three months prior to the benefits of physical space being available
  • Access hot-desk facilities and bookable space for meetings/workshops/pitches, as soon as post COVID-19 restrictions allow
  • Be part of the wider Somerset House resident community with access to all resident opportunities, events and skill-sharing
What is the value?

Creative Black businesses that are selected to join the 12-month programme 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 and a stipend of £300 (e.g. for internet access) to help participants fuel their business creativity and build a network within the Somerset House community.

Who are we?

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.

How to apply?

Applications are now closed.

If you have specific questions about the programme, please email

The Black Business Incubator is sponsored by

Morgan Stanley Logo