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.
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.
Ready to scale in one or more of the following:
Evidence of product traction
Either seed stage or beyond
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
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
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
Sainsbury's store visit
30th November 2022
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.