Custom Search 1

The Voice gets behind black entrepreneurs

PLEA: Thousands of black entrepreneurs start their own businesses every year in the UK – but they are in desperate need of your support to succeed in their ventures

THE VOICE has launched its first UK Black Business Guide as part of Black History Month.

The new publication is also part of an ongoing campaign to promote black businesses across the UK.

Recently published statistics show that black-owned enterprises are an increasingly important part of the UK economy.

According to figures released in August more than 55,000 businesses have been launched with the help of government start up loans since 2012 creating more than 66,000 jobs.

An impressive one into five of these enterprises are black-owned. And other research from Aston University found that people from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds are twice as likely as their white British counterparts to be early-stage entrepreneurs.

As one of the team behind the publication of the report, Mark Hart, professor of Small Businesses and Entrepreneurship at Aston Business School, says: “What this tells us is that minorities and immigrants are making a big contribution to the prosperity of the UK, growing new firms and creating jobs in our communities.

"Often, they’re setting up their businesses with the express aim of having a social impact beyond simply making money.”

Across the UK there are first-rate black businesses that produce highly rated products and services which challenges the often held view that they are somehow not as professional as mainstream companies. However many in our community either do not know about the good work that they do or give e them the support that they deserve. But supporting black-owned businesses is important for several reasons:

They have the potential to generate wealth

According to data compiled by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising the spending power of Britain’s black communities is worth an estimated £300 billion.

It would bene t us if more of this impressive amount were spent within the community through black-owned enterprises. This can be redirected to projects that support people of African Caribbean heritage.

They can help generate employment

According to research published last year by the Resolution Foundation found that people from a BAME back- ground face significant barriers in gaining employment. And BAME 16- to 24-year- olds are twice as likely to be unemployed as their white peers.

Black businesses are already creating thousands of jobs and they can play an important role in providing opportunities to talented individuals whose aspirations have been blocked due to discrimination.

If they were supported and encouraged, this could go a long way to reducing the high unemployment rates we face.

They strengthen our local communities

Black enterprises often have strong links to the local areas in which they are launched. It’s often the case that when you personally know the people behind a business there’s a connection you probably wouldn’t have if it was a major high street retailer.

You celebrate its successes or express sadness if, for whatever reason, it is forced to close. These types of personal connections are what connect and strengthen us in an age where you often hear the view that black people aren’t as united as we once were.

Leaving a legacy for the next generation

Business pro ts leaving the community hurt youth projects, civic clubs, Saturday schools and keeps us in poverty. As we support black businesses they in turn are better enabled to provide assistance to these organisations that play such an important role in nurturing young people who are our community’s future.

We can never solve our economic problems or create a future for our young people while sending all of our money out of the community as fast as we earn it.

Black-owned businesses cannot succeed without our support. We are using our plat- form to highlight the impor- tant role these enterprises play
and to encourage our readers, to support them. Throughout the production process of this publication the positive feed- back from readers and advertisers has been very encouraging.

We are aware that this rst edition of the business guide does not include all the businesses in the UK; it is just the start of the journey. However we will strive to reach as many businesses as we can with a view to showcasing them in the next issue.

The business owners we have spoken to have revealed a range of motivations – there are those who have embraced entrepreneurship after being made redundant, others who have started a company to pursue an idea they have always been passionate about and en- trepreneurs who have started their own companies after gaining professional qualifications.

Whatever their reasons for starting a business, we applaud their efforts. And we hope that you, our readers, will support them.

Get your copy of The Voice UK Black Business Guide in this week's issue of the paper - out now!

Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.

Facebook Comments