Growth of black businesses needs more support, report says
BLACK AND Ethnic minority business owners need to be supported in their efforts to grow, especially in light of the adverse effects of the pandemic on people from these communities, according to a new report.
Research by the Center for Research on Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CRME) at Aston University and NatWest calls for significant improvements in the support that black and ethnic minority-owned businesses receive from the business and social sectors. finance in the UK.
These companies face several challenges in obtaining financing, access to markets and quality commercial support.
The report, titled Time To Change: A Blueprint For Advancing the UK’s Ethnic Minority Businesses, made 10 key recommendations and said that if implemented, these businesses’ annual contribution to the UK economy could drop from 25 to £100 billion. .
“This landmark report sets out an ambitious but practical agenda for realizing the potential of ethnic minority businesses in the UK,” said Monder Ram, director of CREAM.
“The entrepreneurial ambition of ethnic minorities can play a crucial role in the UK Government’s vision of ‘leveling up’ prosperity in all regions, promoting ‘global Britain’ business opportunities and creating a more cohesive society.
Ram continued: “Drawing on the latest research and examples of international best practice, the report presents a comprehensive approach to tackling the barriers faced by businesses belonging to ethnic minority communities.
“We identify key challenges and present recommendations – informed by extensive consultation with business support practitioners and entrepreneurs – that invite policymakers, businesses and entrepreneurs to collaborate in a new partnership to advance entrepreneurial activities and the diverse communities of the UK.”
Among the report’s recommendations are that the UK’s business and finance sectors should work together to ensure more sustainable and quality business support to help minority business owners realize their growth potential.
It also calls for the creation of local community hubs of business and finance organizations to better engage with EMBs and facilitate their access to funding and government to develop UK-wide policy on the inclusive entrepreneurship to define a clear vision for achieving inclusive growth.
Dr. Eva Kašperová, researcher at CREME, said: “Overcoming the barriers facing EMBs and helping them realize their entrepreneurial potential will require commitment and leadership from government as well as local actors in the sector. business support ecosystem.
“The current absence of an explicit UK-wide policy on inclusive entrepreneurship could mean that parts of the country are being left behind in terms of tackling structural inequalities and enabling entrepreneurs from ethnic communities minority and other underrepresented or disadvantaged groups to access finance, larger markets and quality business support.
“If past experience is any guide, securing the engagement of key stakeholders can be the biggest challenge.”
Andrew Harrison, Head of Merchant Banking at NatWest Group, said: “As Britain’s largest bank for businesses, we are committed to championing small businesses and supporting growth, but we know there are barriers that disproportionately affect Ethnic Minority Businesses (EMBs).
“That’s why we aim for at least 20% of places on our 13 national accelerators to be reserved for ethnic minority entrepreneurs. In 2021, 26% of the companies in our hubs were EMBs.
“Only close collaboration can bring about meaningful change to ensure EMBs get the support they need to reach their full potential. Now is the time to accelerate action, and at NatWest we are committed to playing a vital role in the change required.