We feel that listening and learning is only one facet of systemic change and certainly not where the work ends for us as part of our mission. Our vision is to take action and create an ecosystem that brings together a network of change-makers who can accomplish together more than we ever could alone. We define our ecosystem as one network of many organisations, governing bodies and providers within our industries that will prioritise tailored support for Black business owners in the UK.
We hear the voices of Black entrepreneurs, those that are tired of the burden they’re facing when trying to build a business on unforgiving economic terrain. In order to illustrate the good work being undertaken by Black Business Network, Lloyds Bank, the Black Business Advisory Committee and our partners, we have highlighted our journey so far and our action-taking towards a model of equity – and eventually, justice. We hope the transparency we demonstrate by sharing our work will inspire others to take action and, more importantly, call on other interested local, governmental and national organisations with the same mission to collaborate with us.
The focus of our actions has and always will be to better the position of Black entrepreneurs in the UK. We are working towards equity, with our sights set on justice as the final destination for real systemic change. This is why we are invested in continuing to measure our progress with research; we know there are lost statistics when ethnicities are grouped together with the catchall terms ‘BAME’ or ‘ethnic minorities’, and that is no longer enough. Our specific focus on the Black business community plays an important part in moving towards justice. It is vital for us to note and understand changes and trends so that we can continue to see Black businesses adapt, build, grow and thrive.
REFLECTIONS FROM BLACK BUSINESS NETWORK
WHAT WE’VE ACHIEVED SO FAR
REFLECTIONS FROM LLOYDS BANK: ONE YEAR ON PROGRESS REPORT
Our progress report highlights the actions we have taken alongside our partners in response to the 10 recommendations from the 2021 Black. British. In Business & Proud report.
THE SHORT-TERM IMPACTS
It is pleasing to see that only 7% of current Black entrepreneurs and 4% of future entrepreneurs said that none of the recommendations offer a solution to the barriers they’re facing – meaning that progress is being made and we remain confident we are focused on the most meaningful areas. Nuances to these recommendations and how to implement them are explored through qualitative research with experts, in-depth interviews and roundtables as set out in section seven, with further next steps and actions explored in section eight.
Overall, trust in banks and formal institutions remains low. However, we have seen some positive signs of trust improving, specifically among those that took part in the 2021 research. 70% of last year’s participants trust banks, compared to 41% of participants that were taking part in the survey for the first time this year, and 61% of those who have seen banks take positive action trust banks, compared to only 30% who have seen banks take no positive action. These positive statistics amplify the importance of listening and taking authentic action to start to break down the barriers for Black entrepreneurs and rebuild trust within the community.
Collectively this year, across all the initiatives and events we have played a part in, we have provided 16,000 hours of total support to more than 3,000 Black entrepreneurs and business owners..... Read more