Applications for our second cohort are now closed. We received some incredible applications this year, so a huge thank you to those who applied. You can find out about our successful applicants here: Second Cohort – BEO (blackequityorg.com)
Applications for our third cohort will open in May 2024.
If you are considering applying for next year, this is what we’re looking for.
You have to be a Black-led UK-registered business that is wanting to scale and has a MVP already. 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.
• Funding of up to £15,000 and 12-months free Sky Business broadband and phone package for the most innovative business
• Access for Black entrepreneurs to supply chains, connections and insights from a global business. Sky is actively diversifying its supply chains to create greater opportunities for Black businesses
• A tailored 12-week programme of workshops focused on pitch skills and practice, building mental resilience, software development, international trade, hiring good people and team development and fit to supply chain workshops delivered by Sky executives and other market-leading experts
•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
F100 provides investment to businesses that have a readiness to grow, backed up by expert business advice, coaching and mentoring, to break down the significant barriers faced by Black British entrepreneurs when setting up and growing their businesses.
The programme will also 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.
BEO’s first official programme partner Sky will fully fund F100 for three years.
This is the first time a UK civil rights organisation and a corporate partner have set out to get behind Black business founders, in this way, supporting them to grow into sustainable and long-lasting businesses.
The programme will help ambitious Black entrepreneurs from all backgrounds whether they are in pre-seed, seed or growth phases.
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.
BEO’s partnership with Sky began in 2021. 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.
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.
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.
So that you can benefit from this fantastic opportunity, we are interested in hearing from businesses and start-ups who are 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.
• Demonstrates a willingness to leverage technology.
• Ready to scale – you have already received some investment (from family, friends, or other sources)
• Launched your MVP (minimum viable product), which is:
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 12-week hybrid programme of strategy workshops, insight day events, networking evenings, and other events.
Applications have 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 September.
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 12 weeks.
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.