Enterprise – Entrepreneurship as a legitimate option to employment
We actively support prospective and existing black and minority ethnic business people especially those from the African and Caribbean communities because we believe that there is a lot of untapped potential and a lot more of unfulfilled aspirations for business development in these communities.
We believe that several in the community who need to be given the option to consider business enterprise as an option to employment or unemployment and that there are many who after being made aware of the management skills required to translate a business idea into action will opt for setting up businesses.
But we also accept that in the first years of setting up in business there is a certain hand holding and intimate advice that some of these businesses may need especially during these lonely initial period when the need to be focussed solely on their objectives of survival and growth.
Our support for small micro medium entrepreneurs from the Africa and Caribbean communities include running government sponsored business skills training programmes, helping them with the research and development of their business plans, providing advice when thy need an independent counsellor to take them through their business strategies and helping then to source funding from both traditional and unconventional sources.
We have advised local authorities and central government and agencies of assistance on what structures and support mechanisms, are needed to support black businesses and have helped in the setting up of grants and loan schemes targeted at these business people and we have worked with some of them to set up their own agencies of support such as business associations and chambers of commerce.
Research on enterprise is critical in informing strategy for the development of business by people from disadvantaged and excluded communities in the UK. The right strategies and structures will remove the barriers that make these businesses under-represented but this can only be achieved if we know enough about their problems, motivations and aspirations.
However since these groups are considered to be ‘hard to reach groups’ to research we deploy innovative and yet robust methodologies to ensure that the interviews are representative of the communities.