The Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME), a research partner of the MILE project, recently published a new report setting out recommendations for advancing the UK’s ethnic minority entrepreneurs. The report specifically focuses on improving access to business support, finance and markets to help them grow. It makes reference to international and local best practice in supporting minority firms, including the Business Leaders Project in Birmingham which is relevant to MILE as an example of a local initiative that uses ‘community organising’ methods to build capacity of migrant entrepreneurs so that they can shape local policy on business support rather than being mere recipients of support.
You can find the full report here: Time to change: A blueprint for advancing the UK’s ethnic minority businesses
CREME’s report highlights that limited access to appropriate business support is a major obstacle to growth for the UK’s ethnic minority and migrant entrepreneurs who are less likely than entrepreneurs generally to take up formal and publicly funded business support services. The lack of trust in mainstream support providers or a belief that their advice would be inappropriate are some of the key reasons for such low levels of engagement. The existing enterprise policies and support initiatives targeting under-represented and disadvantaged groups of entrepreneurs are often ineffective, partly because of the way they are formulated.
One of the key recommendations of the report is to include ethnic minority and migrant entrepreneurs in local policy formulation to facilitate their engagement with mainstream support providers as well as increasing the relevance and quality of support. Through the report, CREME showcases ‘Business Leaders Project’ in Birmingham as an exemplar of an initiative that uses community organising methods to build leadership capacity of minority entrepreneurs and increase their participation in policy making for the benefit of local businesses.