The Black British Business Awards wants to help Black-owned businesses prosper during the pandemic, and their new Enterprise Academy is a membership community that will help support them.
The Academy aims to support Black-owned businesses following the impact of Brexit and COVID-19 on the community, where they believe that “ethnic minority SMEs” will play a “crucial role” in post-Brexit exports.
While BAME-owned businesses contribute some £74 billion a year to the UK economy, there are long-term factors that put Black-owned businesses at an unfair disadvantage to their white counterparts, including less access to funding capital, lack of representation at senior levels, and race-related discrimination.
If these barriers were removed, Black-owned businesses could find that their turnover and profits (often lower than white-owned businesses) might improve.
With BAME individuals being twice as likely as white individuals to die from COVID-19, the impact the virus has had on BAME-owned businesses, as well as the wider community, cannot be underestimated.
To level up the Black business community, the Enterprise Academy which will provide “expert-led workshops, practical seminars and have negotiated discounts on essential resources and tools to build, scale-up and accelerate their businesses,” according to a shared statement.
There will also be workshops on raising capital, “creating a successful digital sales and marketing strategy,” media training, and lessons on being ‘the face’ of your company.
Future initiatives include “bespoke PR support for Black businesses, marketing strategies, elevator pitch training, interactive workshops on customer relationship management, and the secrets behind raising business capital led by leading venture capitalists and finance experts.”
Melanie Eusebe, Chair and Co-founder of the Black British Business Awards, said: “The impact of Brexit and the ongoing pandemic have exacerbated pre-existing socio-economic inequalities. Whilst furloughing has helped big business, many small business owners are struggling to stay afloat.
“The Enterprise Academy will equip Black entrepreneurs with the necessary tools to navigate the right business support, build connections within a community and maximise their scope and commercial impact. As we emerge from the crisis, we must ensure that SMEs are provided with support and investment to play their leading role in the UK’s economic recovery”.
Small Business Minister Paul Scully said: “Black entrepreneurs will have a key role to play in our national effort to build back better from the pandemic, and in ensuring everyone is empowered to use every scrap of their drive, their initiative, and their talent to forge the future we all want for ourselves and each other.
“I’m excited to be involved in the launch of the Enterprise Academy, which, alongside Government support including Start-Up Loans and mentorship programmes, will help level the playing field and provide a real boost to Britain.”
If you are a Black business owner in the UK and want to join the Academy, please click here.