Barclays launches dedicated start-up accelerator for Black founders
- Barclays is launching an immersive 12-week accelerator programme for 25 Black founder-led tech businesses
- The launch of the virtual programme follows Barclays’ Race At Work Action Plan to improve opportunities for Black colleagues
- The launch features the work of acclaimed photographer Misan Harriman, the first Black male cover photographer for British Vogue and Oscar-nominated filmmaker Cornelius Walker
27th October 2020: Barclays is launching a 12-week virtual accelerator programme designed to help early-stage tech businesses, founded by one or more Black entrepreneurs, in order to boost diversity in entrepreneurship.
The accelerator, in partnership with Foundervine, an award-winning social enterprise specialising in digital start-ups, includes a series of expert masterclasses focused on a number of core business skills, including product development, sales strategy, operations and leadership. The founders will be mentored by and receive professional coaching from scale-up experts.
Over 140 businesses have applied to take part in the accelerator, of which 25 successful businesses will be selected to participate in the programme.
The programme will start on the 12th November and will last 12 weeks. It will culminate in a demo day in which founders will have the opportunity to present their business to potential clients and investors. In addition, through the programme, participants will gain access to the UK-wide Eagle Labs network and exclusive access to community events through Barclays Eagle Labs.
The launch of the Black Founder Accelerator comes as Barclays celebrates Black History Month and further demonstrates its commitment to the Race at Work agenda, and its Race at Work action plan1.
The launch of the programme is supported by the work of acclaimed photographer Misan Harriman, the first Black male cover photographer for British Vogue, and Oscar nominated director Cornelius Walker, whose short film highlights the difficulties faced by Black entrepreneurs and the need for programmes to support Black founders into entrepreneurship.
Natalie Ojevah, Ecosystem Manager at Barclays Eagle Labs, who led on the creation of the programme, said: “Having worked with businesses for a number of years, and in my current role supporting founders and startups, I have seen the lack of diversity, especially with Black entrepreneurs. I realised this was a national issue, so working with my colleagues and Foundervine, we have launched the Black Founder Accelerator. Foundervine’s track record of supporting Black founders and businesses will help us to make a real difference and I am delighted to see the programme come to life.”
Izzy Obeng, Managing Director of Foundervine, said: “I am delighted to be partnering with Barclays Eagle Labs to launch the Black Founder Accelerator. Together we have the opportunity to help level the playing field for Black founders - building a more equitable future where successful founders come from a wide range of backgrounds."
To view the Black Founder Accelerator launch video, visit https://labs.uk.barclays/barclays-partners-with-misan-harriman
For more details on Eagle Labs, or the Black Founder Accelerator, visit https://labs.uk.barclays/barclays-black-founder-accelerator
For more information about Foundervine, visit https://www.foundervine.com/
Notes to Editors:
Applications for the programme were open to UK-based pre-seed digital start-ups with a minimum viable proposition for their business and with one or more Black founders.
1For more details on the Race at Work agenda and the Race at Work Action Plan, visit https://home.barclays/who-we-are/our-strategy/diversity-and-inclusion/multicultural/
Barclays is a British universal bank. We are diversified by business, by different types of customer and client, and geography. Our businesses include consumer banking and payments operations around the world, as well as a top-tier, full service, global corporate and investment bank, all of which are supported by our service company, which provides technology, operations and functional services across the Group.
About Eagle Labs
A platform to connect the UK’s entrepreneurial community
Eagle Labs are a growing national network of incubator spaces that provide business incubation, mentoring and co-working space for ambitious high-growth businesses as well as digital skills development and rapid prototyping through onsite digital fabrication equipment and Industry 4.0 expertise at many of our sites.
By cultivating a community of likeminded entrepreneurs through a providing a collaborative work environment, access to their peers and opportunities to maximise growth through digital connections, curated events and funding opportunities, Eagle Labs are able to help start-ups to grow at pace.
Eagle Labs also specialises in positively disrupting key industries by bringing together key corporate players, industry bodies, leading universities and start-ups to enable rapid innovation and investment by asking them to collaborate and currently have dedicated LawTech, HealthTech and AgriTech industry-aligned programmes.
With 25 Eagle Labs across the country and more in the pipeline, our focus is to help to connect, educate and accelerate ambitious UK businesses and entrepreneurs.
Foundervine is an award-winning social enterprise on a mission to support future leaders around the world on a journey to unlocking entrepreneurial potential.
Created in response to the scarcity of diverse talent in the market, their focus is on running immersive entrepreneurship labs that help young people from under-represented communities imagine, start, and grow new ventures.
By building the pipeline of diverse talent in industry, Foundervine seek to encourage organisations and business leaders to invest in inclusive entrepreneurship, recognising the digital leaders of tomorrow.