SABA stands for the Society for the Advancement of Black Arts. It was established in 1991, by a group of young Black graduates. They were alarmed by the difficulties BME communities faced when trying to succeed within their field. Their strategy was to create and produce a variety of urban arts activities and educational programmes for disadvantaged communities living on large housing estates in London. Through this work, SABA’s founders set out to tackle social exclusion.

Throughout the 1990’s, SABA continued to educate established decision-makers about the past, current and potentially positive contributions of new and contemporary urban artistes. This period saw SABA develop as a mentor, manager and supporter of new and contemporary arts organisations and performers.

Towards the end of the 1990s, SABA began providing management and marketing consultancy services to community-led organisations and individuals committed to providing educational, art and social services for their community. In 2000, SABA acquired charitable status and diversified into undertaking fundraising for small organisations. This helped ensure organisations were able to continue their work delivering a range of socially based projects and activities in their communities. In 2002, SABA’s new role was rewarded as it received the EMERGING COMPANY OF THE YEAR award at the Black Enterprise Awards. In 2003, SABA was clearly established as a leading black social enterprise facilitator.

Today, SABA continues to work closely with community groups primarily on large housing estates. Whilst working to eliminate social exclusion remains a priority, the growth of diverse communities on housing estates has resulted in S.A.B.A also working towards community cohesion. As a result of experience gained through its work as part of regeneration projects, and with the addition of experienced housing and financial advisers, SABA has also added housing policy to its portfolio and strengthened its fundraising arm to include financial advice to small organisations.