Growth and Diversity: Meeting needs, seizing opportunities
According to a new paper published by the Diversity and Inclusion Business Council (DIBC) last month women and ethnic minority led businesses are still not making the grade in terms of their performance against other groups in the UK.
Yet the story is not all gloom as they are still contributing a staggering £25-32 billion to the UK economy per year with women contributing £70 billion.
So tell us what we don’t know I can hear you shouting.
What we have been waiting to hear is that the DIBC has put together a set of 7 key recommendations to support women and minority run businesses achieve their full potential.
- Focus on growth– enterprise policy should encourage women and ethnic minority entrepreneurs to enter high value-added sectors.
- Provide local support– local-level targeted enterprise support is likely to be more effective than a national ‘one size fits all’ policy of intervention.
- Advocacy and promotion of EMWs– the Government should consider establishing a central resource for the provision of thought leadership and best practice for ethnic minority and women-owned businesses.
- Diversity proofing policy and practice– Government should monitor operations to obtain evidence as to which groups are being engaged in central and local work, and which are being excluded from these initiatives.
- Support and widen ethnic minority business networks– more should be done to consult ethnic minority business networks on national and local government decisions, as well as improving their connections with wider business networks.
- Putting diversity on the agenda –enterprise support agencies need to ensure that they take into account the needs of their local minority businesses in developing their priorities.
- Support the widening of access to markets– efforts to widen access to markets should include every UK Trade & Investment overseas mission should ensure a good proportion of the delegation is drawn from businesses run by women and ethnic minorities.
“This report highlights the importance of women-owned and minority-owned businesses to the UK economy, and shows the important steps that can be taken to best support diverse firms” said Professor Sara Carter from Strathclyde University, co-chair of the DIBC. “This isn’t simply about government action; the private sector has a role too, particularly in the areas of mentoring and in supporting firms in accessing new markets.”
Professor Monder Ram from Birmingham University, co-chair of the DIBC went further by underlining the unrecognised input ethnic minority groups make when he said that, “evidence of the economic and social contribution of migrants, ethnic minorities and women to entrepreneurship continues to accumulate. It’s vital that this contribution is recognised by policy-makers and institutions charged with supporting entrepreneurship in the UK. My colleagues and I on the BBA’s Diversity and Inclusion Business Council are determined to ensure the issue of minority entrepreneurship is placed at the centre of the small business agenda”
The DIBC looks at policy affecting women and ethnic minority groups in business with an aim to strengthen and design measures to improve performance. It is made up of leading women and ethnic minority entrepreneurs, business organisations, banks, Trusts, academics and specialist skills groups.
For more on the paper log onto https://www.bba.org.uk/policy/business-finance/growth-and-diversity-meeting-needs-seizing-opportunities/