Shape | Mentoring for built environment entrepreneurs

Do you have a built environment business idea or have you just started a new business? Are you seeking support from others in developing your idea or enterprise?

If so, the Shape Programme may be able to help you. From painting and decorating to design consultancy this programme has been created to support budding and new founders in construction and the built environment.

How does Shape work?

SHAPE is an innovative programme which connects founders with volunteer mentors, drawn from a variety of backgrounds, experience and expertise and matched with those wishing to found businesses and or businesses owners. We provide 6-months of mentoring along with practical bi-monthly workshops designed to nurture diverse founders who are under-represented within the sector and in the long-term support the development of a more inclusive and representative built environment.


Who is Shape for?

SHAPE aims to assist a diverse range of business types who are in the process of starting up or within 2 years of start-up and engaged in craft, consultancy or the development of buildings, spaces and places.

We encourage everyone to participate as mentors and mentees, particularly people who are underrepresented as founders and leaders in the built environment sector including:

  • Women

  • People from black and ethnic minority backgrounds

  • Disabled people

  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people (LGBT +)

  • People who face socioeconomic disadvantage


SHAPE offers support in negotiating the often opaque, fragile and uncertain terrain for diverse business founders, encompassing everything from direct and skilled labour providers to consultants in the service sector.

The programme offers a vital strategic solution to issues like stalling social mobility, and lagging economic productivity, while presenting positive good news stories for ‘multiplier-effects’ in local economies.”

— -- David Ogunmuyiwa, Founding Partner, ArchitectureDoingPlace and Mayor’s Design Advocate


Next Steps

Mentee and Mentor applications will reopen in Autumn 2019. Sign up to our newsletter for the latest updates about our programmes.


The Shape Programme is proudly supported by the Construction Industry Council

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