Midlands business summit to drive diversity support

Midlands business summit to drive diversity support

A business summit focused on unlocking the potential of Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) owned businesses, is set to take place in Birmingham next month.

Part of a national focus on the support needs of black and minority ethnic business owners across the UK, the summit will tackle the social, cultural and financial barriers that can restrict the high growth of BAME owned businesses, and identify solutions for the region to harness the entrepreneurial potential and buying power of BAME communities.

Funded by the government-backed start up finance provider, The Start Up Loans Company, the Midlands BAME Business Summit has been curated by leading Birmingham based enterprise development company, Cultiv8 Solutions.

Joel Blake OBE, founder of Cultiv8 Solutions said: "BAME owned businesses contribute over £25bn pounds to the UK economy each year. Yet, in such a diverse city as Birmingham and given the fact that the city has one of the highest levels of start-up enterprises being created in the country, many business owners from diverse communities still feel outside of mainstream support, but can add significant value to the growth of the region."

Joel, who was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for Services to Business Support and Enterprise, continued, "This will not be an event for negative debate. For the first time, the voice of the new generation of BAME business owners will be heard, providing tangible solutions to city leaders, supporting other like-minded business owners and educating business support organisations, so we can all work together in a more practical and focused way."

Speakers at the BAME Business Summit include Tim Sawyers CBE, CEO of Start Up Loans Company, Professor Monder Ram OBE, director of Centre of Research into Ethnic Minority Entrerpreneurship (CRÈME) at the University of Birmingham and Saqib Bhatti, Board Director of the Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) and President of the Asian Chamber of Commerce.

Tim Sawyers CBE said: "At the Start Up Loans Company, nearly a quarter of all our loans have gone to BAME led businesses, while we are extremely proud of this figure we want to continue to see it grow.

"Events like The Business Summit in Birmingham provide a great opportunity for us to meet with potential future business owners and leaders and help support them on the first stage of their journey."

On the day, there will be speaker sessions, a business panel, a facilitated audience debate and a private Business Mastermind session for entrepreneurs.