Never before has the spotlight been so heavily focused on levelling the racial playing field as now. The social climate, catalysed mostly by recent events in the media, has spurred many of us to seek out effective ways to support the Black community and create a more balanced economic landscape. Many will be encouraged by the increase in public outcry for change, however, history has proven that the most effective way to induce real change is through economic empowerment.
A report in Extend Ventures reveals that Under 1% of venture capital investment in the UK went to Black entrepreneurs across the last 10 years which highlights the systematic barriers Black businesses face when securing finance. According to this research between 2009 and 2019, just 0.24% of venture capital went to teams of Black entrepreneurs 38 businesses in total.
The annual UK Black Business Show, now in its 5th year, takes place during Black History Month. The event was created to inspire and connect Black business owners and professionals in various industries with the sole purpose of supporting Black entrepreneurs and professionals who are underrepresented in business.
This year the show is one of many events during UK Black Business Week; the first dedicated week in the UK for Black entrepreneurs, professionals and allies in the UK.
Founder and CEO of the Show & Week, Raphael Sofoluke spoke on the importance of championing Black entrepreneurs and the need to highlight Black role models. He says…
” “The UK is filled with amazing Black entrepreneurs who, despite the challenges they have faced, have risen to the top in their industries- it’s important we celebrate them and I’m proud to have collaborated with HSBC UK to deliver a list of 25 fantastic Black entrepreneurs."Founder and CEO of the Show & Week, Raphael Sofoluke
”“We’re delighted to celebrate today’s Black business leaders and we are committed to ensuring that access to finance is fair and open for all entrepreneurs.”Peter McIntyre, Head of Small Business Banking for HSBC UK