Sheffield’s British Business Bank has been commissioned by Number 10 to convene an industry-wide Working Group on Access to Capital, which will explore the barriers to entrepreneurship and access to finance that impact groups currently marginalised or under-represented across the UK.
The recommendations will feed into the ‘Employment and Enterprise’ sub-group as part of the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities, set up by the Prime Minister in July 2020 to review inequality in the UK.
In addition to employment and enterprise, the Commission’s sub-groups will focus on education, health and the criminal justice system.
“Creating more opportunities for people from all walks of life to make the most of their skills and talent is vital to the success of the UK and its economy,” said Catherine Lewis La Torre, CEO of British Business Bank.
“Entrepreneurs, regardless of their background, should be equally welcomed and supported in the world of business. However, who the person is and how they fit in to the society around them can too often impact the range of options open to them as well as the barriers they face.”
The Working Group draws upon expertise from the entrepreneurial, academic, investor, start-up and small business banking communities to shine a light on these issues.
It will make tangible recommendations to the Commission and Number 10 on how to create more equality of opportunity for the UK’s Black, Asian and Other Ethnic Minority entrepreneurs.
The Working Group is comprised of leading experts from across the financial sector and is chaired by Henry Obi, Partner at Helios Investment Partners.
Recommendations from the Working Group will be delivered by the end of October 2020 and will be practical, deliverable, and grounded in evidence.
It will consider the ways in which existing access to finance schemes could be enhanced, as well as how new schemes could be implemented to address these issues.
They will call on a range of organisations to act, including central and local government, the British Business Bank, financial services providers, universities to the private sector.