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F100 Growth Fund

Investing in the next wave



BEO and Sky’s £1 million partnership continues for 2024, backing Black entrepreneurs to grow and develop their own businesses in the UK.

We are now accepting applications for our F100 Growth Fund until 21st of July.

To apply, your business must be Black-Led, UK-registered and seeking to scale with an existing MVP. As part of the application process, you’ll need to provide a video and presentation outlining your business so please make sure you have these to hand.

We are looking for innovative Black led businesses that are disrupting their industry. If this sounds like you, we would love to hear from you. You can also read about two of our funded businesses and their journeys here, to get a taste of what we are looking for.

 

If you are successful in your application, this is what you’ll get in return:

• The opportunity to pitch for up to £15,000 in funding, to a panel made up of business experts and partners at the end of the programme

• 12-months free Sky Business broadband and phone package for the most innovative businesses

• Access for Black entrepreneurs to supply chains, connections and insights from a global business.

A tailored 10-week programme to help high-growth Black businesses scale through a series of workshops, mentorship, supply chain support and Investment readiness support. 

• Get to work with a network of mentors and community organisations to advise and assist new enterprises

• Support from Black founders and entrepreneurs with relevant knowledge and skills, as well as opportunities to meet prospective partners and funders

• Opportunities to pitch your business to investors and VCs and procurement teams

• BEO Community events for peer-to-peer networking with other Black founders

  • Despite being shown to be significantly more innovative than counterparts, many ethnic minority founders struggle to access external finance to help their businesses survive and grow.
  • Black entrepreneurs experience the poorest outcomes of all. According to research from Extend Ventures, in the 10 years from 2009-2019 only 0.24% of venture capital went to Black entrepreneurs – a total of 38 businesses. Just 0.02% went to Black female entrepreneurs.

50%

of Black entrepreneurs consider racism to be a significant barrier to their business aspirations.

Our F100 programme provides investment opportunities to businesses that have a readiness to grow. Funding is contingent upon the success of the demo day pitch, as judged by our panel of experts and investors.

Backed up by expert business advice, coaching and mentoring, we are here to break down the significant barriers faced by Black British entrepreneurs when setting up and growing their businesses.

The programme will create a vital and tight-knit cohort of Black British entrepreneurs, with valuable, regular opportunities to network and share experiences, successes and challenges.

This flagship programme’s focus on economic empowerment and equity of opportunity will reduce inequality and enable ambitious Black entrepreneurs to thrive and succeed.

Black and ambitious

BEO’s first official programme partner Sky has funded our F100 programme for three years. The partnership began in 2021 and F100 is a key part of the media and entertainment company’s £30 million commitment to tackle structural inequality and make a difference in communities impacted by racism.

This programme, supporting the development of Black-owned and led businesses in the UK, recognises that economic prosperity and wealth creation is at the heart of Black equity

F100 will help ambitious Black entrepreneurs with innovative ideas to take their businesses to the next level.

F100 – key goals

Increased and improved access to finance: More Black founders confidently scaling and diversifying their businesses.

Business growth: More jobs created, more Black businesses succeeding.

Female founders boost: Equity and better representation of Black female founders, reflected in an increase in women entrepreneurs participating and accessing finance through F100 or from other investors.

Policy changes and wider systemic impact: Codification of F100 leading to more, similar programmes and partnerships with corporates, and ultimately wider policy and systemic changes in the UK entrepreneurship landscape.

Who is it for?

The programme is open to applicants over 18 years old of Black African, Black Caribbean, Black British and/or Mixed-race descent. You will need to be a UK resident.

We are looking for ambitious founders who wants to take their businesses to the next level. Whether you want to refine your business strategy, expand your network of support, or secure capital to accelerate its growth and development, the F100 Growth Fund can help.

The F100 Growth Fund

For businesses

So that you can benefit from this fantastic opportunity, we are interested in hearing from high growth potential businesses who are at the right stage to maximise this programme. Your business will need to:
• Be a UK-registered company.
• Be a B2B or B2C business.
• Have a website and/or social media profile.
Is leveraging technology to scale its products or services.
• Ready to scale – you have already received some investment (from family, friends, or other sources)
• Launched your MVP (minimum viable product), which is:

  • Generating a minimum of £5000 in revenue (annual)
    OR
  • Must have at least two pilot testing companies and
  • Have raised at least £1,000 in funding.


As a founder, you will need to:
• Be over 18 and a UK resident. We are particularly interested in supporting female Black founders.
• Be of Black African, Black Caribbean, Black British, and/or Mixed-race descent (at least one founder of a business must be of Black ethnic descent).
• Own at least 51% of the company and have a sector-specific business and industry knowledge.
• Be able to commit to a 10-week hybrid programme of strategy workshops, insight day events, networking evenings, and other events.



Applications are now closed.

As part of the application process, you will be asked to complete an online application form and upload a 2-minute video explaining why you have applied to join the F100 Growth Fund and what you hope to gain from the programme. You will also be required to upload a 7-slide pitch deck that outlines why we should invest resources in your business.

Shortlisted applicants will be notified at the beginning of May.



Can I apply if I my business and start-up is a social enterprise?

We encourage applicants who share our vision of creating positive impact through profit-focused ventures to apply. If you’re interested in social enterprises, we recommend exploring alternative programs that specifically focus on supporting those businesses.

What is the mode of delivery? Do I have to be present in person for all sessions?

Hybrid delivery with both virtual and in-person sessions. Induction day, networking and workshop sessions will be in-person while other sessions will be delivered online. We aim to deliver a holistic, rewarding and impactful programme while being flexible so that you can make full use of the 10 weeks.

How are investment decisions determined?

Applicants who advance successfully through the programme have the chance to present their pitches during the final demo day, where they can secure equity-free funding of up to £15,000. The funding panel comprises seasoned business experts, programme sponsors, and investors. Please note admission to the programme does not automatically guarantee funding.

What is the scope of post-programme support available?

As an alumnus of the F100 Growth Fund, you will still be able to take advantage of networking opportunities, have access to online resources and potentially be able to extend engagements with your mentors.

Can I apply if I am outside of the United Kingdom as a Black British founder?

At this time, we are particularly interested in Black British founders with start-ups located and registered in the United Kingdom.

Can I apply if I am just at the business idea stage?

For this cohort we are particularly interested in founders of businesses (that can potentially be accelerated) with product/service offerings that are at least minimum viable product stage.

Can I apply if I don’t live in the London area?

The Sky F100 Growth Fund is open to Black British founders with start-ups from across the entire United Kingdom, not just in the London area. However, for in-person sessions you may need to travel to venues in London.

Can I apply if I am the only founder?

While we encourage start-ups to have a team and apply with their founders, we are open to start-ups with a sole founder and have been able to gain some traction.



Applications are now open until 21st of July


Apply here
"
100% go for it. It’s been a really inspiring experience and definitely one that I’m grateful for and will carry forward so don’t delay, just go for it
Dr Efosa Uwubamwen, Co-Founder, WellVrse
"
Go for it, be prepared and be fully committed. You get out of the programme what you put into it - so the more you invest into the programme, the more you are definitely going to gain from it
Junior Ogunyemi, Zipistream
"
The best part has been the education I’ve received. There’s been lots I’ve learned. The value that I got from it was definitely worth the three months and I think it’ll be worth the time for other people as well
Wesley Walker, Founder, Clean Me
"
100% I definitely would say apply. It’s beneficial, you’ll build your network, you’ll build your community, you’ll gain knowledge and insight and you’ll gain first-hand experience talking to investors, people you wouldn’t have necessarily had access to before, you will have access, so it’s definitely worth it.
Shanice Shields-Mills, Founder, Kallure Communications
"
These kind of programmes, specifically this one, these are the ways you grow your knowledge, grow your network and grow your business. There’s no other way to do it. It’s a safe space to fail forward and I would definitely recommend doing it
Antoinette Ale, Co-Founder, Tressly
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It’s a no-brainer - it’s an incredible programme to be part of and community to be part of but I think at the end of the day, you’ll probably more regret not applying!
Samuel Ola, Co-Founder, Nestwork