Abigail Sol, a Black woman, presents to a crowd of people

Sharing Stories from the Black Business Incubator: Abigail Sol’s Uproot

03 Apr 2023

The Black Business Incubator at Somerset House helps early-stage Black entrepreneurs unlock their full creative potential. 

The programme provides expert-led masterclasses, mentorship, free access to a co-working space, as well as a variety of community events. We believe entrepreneurial success relies on being part of a supportive and inclusive creative community.

We wanted to introduce you to these talented people, so we tasked the entrepreneurs with answering some of our questions in order to explore their stories. Here, we speak to Abigail Maria Sol, founder of Black-led, socially-driven production company Uproot, and Deya, a new platform that connects Black creatives with jobs and community.

How did you get started as a creative entrepreneur?

I believe that making and consuming art should be accessible to all, as creativity is such a powerful tool for change. These values fuel the work that we do at Deya and Uproot. Our offering continues to grow and shift, in response to the needs of Black communities, and the change we hope to see in the world.

The road to Deya has involved listening to the landscape. In response to the career-shifting impact of the pandemic, in 2020 Uproot launched Connect; a free training programme for Black creatives who were at risk of leaving the industry. 

The programme kickstarted new careers and pivotal long-term relationships. It made such a meaningful impact, that we have since been developing a new offering that allows us to support Black creatives on a bigger scale. This offering has been shaped in consultation with Black creative talent who have a vision for change. 

With support from the Black Business Incubator at Somerset House, WeTransfer's Supporting Act Foundation and Arts Council England, we are building Deya, the home of Black creatives. 

What was the impact of the Black Business Incubator programme on your business/practice?

Being part of the Black Business Incubator has unlocked new opportunities for Uproot and Deya. I have accessed training for many practical and soft skills that you typically need to learn on the job. This support has upskilled me as a leader and enhanced my capacity to deliver on the businesses’ ambitious plans. We have also greatly benefited from Somerset House’s Exchange Programme, where I have accessed in-kind accounting and legal advice and developed new meaningful relationships. 

What are your plans for the year ahead?

We’re building a new way to connect Black creatives with career-defining opportunities and resources, whilst cultivating community spaces & connection. We are here to solve the problem of under representation and inequality within the creative sector. This work is fuelled by the belief that access to art is a human right, and a valuable tool for us to imagine and create new realities. 

Deya invited Black creatives to sign up to our waitlist in January, and within 6 weeks we reached our phase 1 target of 500 Black creatives within the community. Whilst growing the community we are rolling out early stage offerings, such as VIP concert tickets and free portraits. Later this year we will reveal our game changing new offering to the Deya fam.

At Uproot, we are currently developing new film and theatre work, as well as impactful training opportunities. Moving forwards, Uproot and Deya will work collaboratively to empower Black creatives within the community.

Visit uprootprod.com to learn more about our work. 
And if you are a Black creative, or a mission-aligned supporter, sign up now at deya.world!


Apply for the Black Business Incubator

Are you an ambitious creative entrepreneur who is motivated to build your business skills to create sustainable growth? Applications are now open for the next cohort of the Black Business Incubator. We’re on the lookout for Black-led creative businesses that are embracing innovation, pushing boundaries and making an impact.

Online Q&A

We are hosting a live online Q&A session on Wednesday 12 April, from 16.00-17.00 where we will go through the programme, what to expect and answer any questions you may have. If you would like to participate, please register your interest. 

Black Business Incubator is developed in partnership with Mentor Black Business and sponsored by Morgan Stanley