ASOS, Fashion Minority Report launch incubator for ethnic minority-owned brands
ASOS and Fashion Minority Report (FMR) have joined forces to launch an inaugural incubator programme, dubbed scaleUP.
The partners said it’s an initiative “to help bridge the gap between the fashion industry and ethnic minority-owned brands – who continue to face barriers in accessing the fashion market and scaling up their business operations”.
The move comes after a report from the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry found that black and Asian people “face hurdles in setting up and running businesses, including struggling to access funding, and that ethnic minority-owned businesses have lower success rates compared to their white counterparts”.
ScaleUP aims to remove the barriers and provide access to funding and support.
It was “developed collaboratively” and will provide two successful candidates with insight and guidance from industry experts, wholesale opportunities including a collection available exclusively on ASOS, and a year of mentorship from business leaders. The two successful businesses will also be able to pitch for up to £20,000 of funding each to support their growth.
And up to five other emerging brands “will benefit from workshops, talks, and the opportunity to showcase their brand as part of the February 2024 scaleUP press and buyers showroom”.
Applications are open from now until 9 July and are open to ethnic minority founders of UK-based fashion brands (in ready-to-wear women’s or menswear, or accessories). They need to have been running their businesses for less than five years.
Judges include representatives from ASOS and FMR, as well as other industry insiders.
Vanessa Spence, Senior Creative Director at ASOS, said the company wants to dismantle the obstacles encountered by ethnic minority-owned brands, to “empower established businesses with a promising vision, and nurture emerging talent seeking that extra boost to get into the industry”.
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