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Female and BAME Business Led Forums

Over two years, the Female and BAME Business Forum brought together leading thought leaders and advocates to share best practices and examine how women can overcome the barriers that impede micro and small business owners from accessing strategic financial and business expertise for start-up, development and scale since 2014.

By building on the reputation and work of the National Black Women’s Network through its Let’s Talk Business, Women in Business Conferences and business support champions including NatWest, Lloyds Bank, Barclays Bank, LEPs and the ICAEW amongst our many other partners; we bought together a wide range of diverse business owners and professionals; financial experts, retail banks and policy leads to share knowledge, increase understanding and build the capacity of diverse SMEs to access the strategic support and information they need to grow and flourish.

The forum was led by the National Black Women’s Network and was launched by the Mayor’s Office, ICAEW, NatWest Business Banking and the former British Banking Association (BBA) in 2014.​

When the forum was launched in 2014, ethnic minority businesses were estimated to contribute £25-£32 billion to the UK economy per year, and women-led enterprises contributed around £70 billion.  More recently at the Black Business Entrepreneurs conference, Dr Carlton Brown reported that Black-owned SMEs account for three-fifths of the employment and around half of the annual turnover in the UK private sector, estimated at around £2.3 trillion. However, he believes greater equality was still required to ensure that more needed to be done to tackle race inequality in business ownership.

The aim of the forums were to.

Unleashing Your Economic Clout
The Digital Capture Centre, London,
26th May 2016

How To Run A Successful Business From Home
City Hall, London
29th June 2015

Findings from these meetings were used to inform policy priorities around these issues to ensure that they are supporting the unique and diverse needs of Female and BME businesses looking to create more employment through their company and make a greater contribution to the economy.

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