The Collective Impact Residency

Supporting Black Social Entrepreneurs

UK’s first Accelerator programme focused on Black Social Entrepreneurs.

We are looking for Black entrepreneurs who are making a positive impact in their communities. At the Impact Residency, you’ll get the mindset, tools, and network to help you grow your social enterprise and become an extraordinary entrepreneur.

The Residency is a 6-month programme from May – October 2021, during which you’ll receive 1-on-1 mentoring and coaching, group workshops, and have access to our network of partners and investors. You will be part of a cohort of 5 exceptional founders, and the wider community of The Collective Foundation.

The events of the programme run for 3 full days in the first week of each month, during which you will stay at The Collective’s co-living building in London (Canary Wharf). COVID regulations by the government will be followed to ensure your health and safety. We may choose to make parts of the programme virtual, but for now, we plan to run them at our London location.

The programme is fully funded by The Collective Foundation.

If you’re looking to make a difference in your community, we will help you do just that.

Update (16/02/2021)

Applications for the programme closed on February 16th, 12:00 AM.
The cohort will be announced in early March.

Do you want to be part of their journey?

If you are interested in partnering with us as an investor, mentor, workshop facilitator, or strategic partner, we would be delighted to hear from you.

Eligibility Criteria

1. Black Entrepreneur

Eligible entrepreneurs will have to have a majority stake or major decision making power in the organisation.

2. Social Impact

Social impact must be the top priority of the start-up. We accept both non-profit and for-profit organisations that align with our four Focus Areas: Economic Opportunity, Health and Wellbeing, Social Integration, and Environmental Sustainability.

3. Early-stage Business

You are able to show us that your product or service has already benefited people. While it’s not a hard rule, we typically work with start-ups that are less than 5 years old and have not yet raised Series A funding.

4. Based in the UK

We accept candidates from across the UK. Candidates will, however, need to ensure attendance in London for the monthly event programme (subject to future COVID-19 travel restrictions and public health guidelines).




Gain practical tools to grow your business. You will receive 1-on-1 coaching sessions and group workshops, on business fundamentals such as fundraising, marketing and leadership skills.



Get paired with a successful entrepreneur or industry leader, who will share knowledge and experience by providing advice, network contacts, and ongoing personal support and encouragement. All mentor matches will be made on a highly personal basis, to suit your needs. Your mentor will be asked to commit at least 10 hours to mentor you during the programme.



Get introduced to our network of partners and investors who have the resources to skyrocket your business. Our network of partners includes BYP Network, Black and Good, OneTech, and Thomson Reuters Foundation.



The Collective Foundation is the philanthropic arm of The Collective, a property company that creates co-living spaces to build a more connected, inspired and collaborative world.

Creating communities where people can live happy, full lives, is deeply ingrained in The Collective’s purpose. Hence why the selected entrepreneurs will get a chance to stay three nights a month at The Collective Canary Wharf, a haven of community and creativity in vibrant East London, with inspiring shared spaces and life-enriching experiences.
Learn more about the Collective Canary Wharf >

Programme Details

The Impact Residency is a six-month programme to equip a cohort of 5 Black social entrepreneurs with the resources and connections to grow their business and make an even bigger impact.

  • Dates: May – October 2021. The programme will run from the first Thursday morning until Saturday evening of every month.
  • Cost: Participation is entirely free of charge and funded by The Collective Foundation. We do not charge any equity or programme fees. We are a non-profit organisation and our only goal is for our entrepreneurs to succeed.

If you have any questions, please contact us by completing this form.

Types of events

  • 1-on-1 coaching sessions
  • Group workshops
  • Community events 
  • Networking events

Event themes

  • Personal Development
  • Strategy
  • Operations
  • People & Culture
  • Impact Measurement
  • Customer Experience
  • Product
  • Marketing & Communications
  • Sales & Partnerships
  • Investment
  • Pitch Training


Why is this programme focused on Black entrepreneurs?

We recognise that talent is equally distributed, but opportunity is not.

Even though Black entrepreneurs are well-connected at peer level within their eco-systems, they consistently have a lack of access to VCs and Accelerator programmes due to racial bias in selection processes. As a result, less than 1% of venture capitalist funded start-ups has a Black founder.

We aim to level the playing field and combat negative racial bias.

What are the four Focus Areas?

We accept applications from Social Impact organisations that align with any of our four Focus Areas:

1. Social Integration
You make communities more inclusive, break down social barriers and reduce loneliness. Read More >

2. Health and Wellbeing
You help people improve and maintain their physical and/or mental health. Read More >

3. Economic Opportunity:
You create opportunities for people who face structural economic exclusion and disadvantages. Read More >

4. Environmental Sustainability:
You mobilise people in communities to be more environmentally aware and create systemic change in behaviours. Read More >

What does the selection process look like?

Applications open: November 30, 2020
Applications close: February 15, 2021
Shortlist announced: February 18, 2021
Final cohort announced: March 5, 2021
Impact Residency opens: May 6, 2021
Impact Residency closes: Oct 9, 2021

In the selection process, we look at our Eligibility Criteria (see above in the yellow section) and review each application with the following elements in mind: Innovation, Uniqueness, Impact, and Scalability.

We will select 5 start-ups to be part of the Residency. A smaller cohort size allows us to more easily comply with social distancing rules, and gives us the chance to offer more personal support to each entrepreneur.

What commitment will be required?

We expect you to attend the full programme. This includes being present at all events from the first Thursday to Saturday of each month, and staying at The Collective Canary Wharf during these days. As an exception, another co-founder may also represent your organisation at the events.

Can my co-founder also join the programme?

Your co-founders are welcome to join the events, if there is capacity.

There should be one person who will attend most events, stay in the building, and who is the main contact on behalf of your start-up.

What does the programme look like?

A detailed Programme curriculum will soon be published.

We recognise that each start-up has different needs, so we will create
a flexible curriculum which can be tailored to each participant. You may
expect sessions covering the following themes:

– Personal development: Effective networking, Setting goals, Personal leadership, Communication style.

– Strategy: Business model canvas, Risk and opportunity analysis, De-risking.

– Operations: Managing finances, Optimising operational processes and logistics, Legal support.

– People & Culture: Organisational structuring, Creating company culture, Recruitment, Team management.

– Impact Measurement: Understanding impact and setting goals, Data analysis.

– Customer Experience: Mapping customer journey, Managing community and customers.

– Product: Advice with online platform/tech, Advice with product design.

– Marketing & Communications: Reviewing brand identity, Storytelling, Effective social media campaigns.

– Sales & Partnerships: Partnership strategy, Sales soft skills, B2B & B2C Sales strategy.

– Investment & Pitch training: Navigating the Angel investment landscape, Speaking with investors, Philanthropy / Grant funding, Pitching bootcamp.

What is The Collective Foundation?

The Collective Foundation is the philanthropic arm of The Collective, a property company that creates co-living spaces to build a connected and more inspired world that’s more alive, more together and more collaborative.

Our programmes support social entrepreneurs in creating a positive impact in their communities, by providing leading resources, personal mentorship, a network of supporters, and a community to call home. 

In the last three years, our Accelerators have supported entrepreneurs from all over the world, impacting thousands of people across 5 continents. In 2019 alone, our alumni have impacted over 700,000 lives.

I want to get involved as a mentor or partner. How can I help? 

We welcome people and organisations who want to support the Impact Residency with their time, funding, or other resources.

Mentors can find more information about the experience, and apply via this form.

For other partnership opportunities, please complete this form.

What about COVID-19?

The Impact Residency is an in-person programme, taking place at The Collective Canary Wharf in London. To ensure that the programme is safe and 100% compliant with all regulations, we will closely monitor the UK Government’s COVID-19 Restrictions and Guidance. To begin with, we’ve limited the cohort to just 5 entrepreneurs. This means that we can maintain a safe distance at all times in the events planned.

All future public health advice and guidelines will be followed, which might even include COVID-19 testing throughout the programme.

Whilst our goal is to run the sessions in-person, if there will be any travel or group size restrictions that will prevent us from effectively running the programme, we will move the affected dates to virtual sessions. We have experience with running virtual sessions, so we would make sure you can get the full value of the programme from the safety of your home.

Finally, we will aim to communicate all requirements and changes promptly and with as much lead time as possible, and we encourage you to get in touch with the programme staff if you ever have any safety concerns.


“The Collective’s programme has been transformational for NEMI Teas as it provided resources, expertise, mentoring and connections to develop the business and its social impact. I would highly recommend it to any budding social change maker who is looking to take their venture to the next level.”

Pranav Chopra CEO & Founder, NEMI Teas

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