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Research initiative seeks input from ethnic minority-owned businesses to gauge confidence and support needs

News | Posted on Sunday 5 May 2024

Businesses owned by people from ethnic minority groups are being urged to take part in research which will examine their business confidence levels, barriers to growth, and gather data on their business support needs.

The research, a collaboration between the Northern Powerhouse (NPH) Ethnic Minority Business and Policy Forum, and the University of York will enable better understanding of the challenges and barriers for ethnic minority businesses in the Northern Powerhouse region in order to influence business support policy. Findings will be used to create the NPH Ethnic Minority Business Barometer. 

The idea for the barometer evolved from the publication of The Time to Change Report produced by the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME), at Aston University. The report found that ethnic minority businesses face challenges accessing finance, markets, and quality business support and highlighted the need for long-term, and targeted support tailored to their specific needs.

Sharon Jandu OBE, director of the NPH Ethnic Minority Business and Policy Forum added: “The report identified that the contribution of ethnic minority businesses to the UK economy could increase four-fold from £25bn to £100bn by realising the changes in the report.  This is a huge offering to the economy, but to support the relevant businesses, we need to understand which areas they need assistance, to then pursue policy changes that will enable this help.”

The research team encourages business owners and entrepreneurs from ethnic minority groups to complete a short survey to provide their thoughts and experiences. Ethnic minorities include Black, African, Caribbean, Asian and white minorities, such as Jewish, Gypsy, Roma and Irish Traveller groups. 

The survey will cover a range of valuable questions from business activity and economic optimism to sources of start-up funding, support requirements and international trade ambitions. It will also review the barriers facing minority-owned businesses, check for trends and provide regional and sector insights.

Findings will be shared widely with business advisors and policy makers across the NPH region, acting as a catalyst for positive change to policy and business support.

The research will be led by Professor Trehan, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Partnerships and Engagement at the University of York and a key contributor to national debates on leadership, enterprise development and diversity in small firms and business.

Kiran said: "Ethnic minority owned businesses are vital to the success of the regional and national economy. To ensure the future success of the region, we need to have a clear understanding of the needs of these businesses to provide them with the support they need to drive inclusive growth. The annual Business Barometer will provide much needed data to influence policy change and ensure diversity in our entrepreneurial community across the North of England.”

Take part in the research here.

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