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A free comprehensive
16-week incubator programme that will help Black-led start-up businesses with a £1,000,000 commitment to supporting their transition to supermarket shelves.


Applications Open

20 July 2022

Applications Close
16 Aug 2022

Accelerator Starts
30 Aug 2022

About the Programme


Thrive with Sainsbury's is open to any food and drink business with a founder who identifies as being of Black ethnicity or heritage.  They must have an exciting new product that Sainsbury’s customers will love, an ambition to grow and scale up to supermarket level distribution and a vision for what the future of their brand could be.


As part of the Thrive programme, the nine successful applicants selected will receive a welcome grant of £20,000, as well as more than 150 hours of practical 1:1 support and group learning opportunities with a variety of subject matter experts during the process. Each participant’s journey will be tailored to their specific needs and there will be additional funding available at various stages throughout the process, up to the value of £105,000 per brand.

Application criteria

Application process

  • Ready to scale in one or more of the following:

    • Evidence of product traction

    • Either seed stage or beyond

    • Received investment

    • Revenue generating

  • A UK registered business with a corporate bank account

  • Black-led: At least one founder or cofounder self-identifies as Black or of Black heritage

  • Should be available to attend all the masterclasses over the 16-week period

  • Should be available to meet with the programme support team on a weekly basis (a mix of virtual and in-person meetings) and attend other programme activities required for the benefit of the business

We have a 3-stage application process to ensure applicants and their businesses are at the right stage of their journey and are able to gain the most benefit from the programme.

Stage 1: Written application

Please ensure the business meets the applicant criteria. If it does, then complete the application form using the link below.

Stage 2: Interview

Shortlisted applicants from stage 1 will be invited to an interview with Mission Ventures and Foundervine

Stage 3: Final selection

15 shortlisted applicants from stage 2 will be invited to Sainsbury’s Store Support Centre for an in-person interview with a panel from Sainsbury’s

Thrive with Sainsbury's

Masterclass Sessions


30 Aug 2022

Social Media Marketing

06 Sep 2022

Hiring Good People

13 Sep 2022

Pitching Skills & Practice

20 Sep 2022

1:1 Business Support


Consumer research to evaluate the brand & provide support to meet category needs

Business Case

Receive coaching to better understand & manage the financial health of their business


Provide strategic input as the business creates a pathway to launch and scale


Support for long-term success as a Sainsbury's


Thrive with Sainsbury's


Thrive is inspired by Sainsbury’s recognition of the lack of diverse-led businesses on supermarket shelves and the unique barriers that they face. Whether it’s inadequate funding, limited access to social capital and networks, or limited industry knowledge and expertise, it’s tough launching a new brand on such a large scale without access to the right support.


Created and delivered in partnership with Foundervine and Mission Ventures, the programme is open to entrepreneurial food and drink businesses seeking to grow but facing one of many barriers that might be holding them back. This bespoke programme has been designed specifically to address these obstacles and brings together industry-leading experts, a cohort of support, and the opportunity to secure grant funding in an effort to support selected brands to scale and flourish.


As one of the most important industries in the UK, representation in the grocery sector has the potential to create immense social change. Thrive with Sainsbury’s opens up the possibility for Black-led brands to become household staples across the country, and to ignite conversations about supplier and supply chain diversity.

Thrive with Sainsbury's
  • How much do the events cost?
    The Accelerator is free to attend for eligible applicants. ​
  • How do I register for an event?
    Simply complete the sign up form.
  • Do I have to attend all five sessions?
    Yes, as this programme has been designed as a 5-week course, with each session building on the learnings of the last. We are looking for participants who can commit to attending all the sessions.
  • Are all the sessions online?
    Yes, they are all online. You just need a laptop/iPad with a good internet connection to join any session.
  • How can I get in touch if I have any other questions?
    Feel free to email us at [email protected]
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