The newly launched All Party Parliamentary Group for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic business owners held its inaugural meeting in March 2019. Shadow Minister for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Chi Onwurah MP chaired the all-party round table discussion about the key priorities for the group.
The APPG has attracted the attendance and support of Peers and MPs from across both Houses of Parliament, and at the first meeting they selected deputy chairs: Theresa Villiers (Cons.) Afzal Khan (Lab.) and Lady Burt (Lib Dem).
The meeting was also joined by notable BAME business networks, and key policy makers including the Federation of Small Business and the Institute of Directors. An important priority of the APPG will be to promote an inclusive national industrial strategy to enable the scale up of BAME owned businesses with a view to maximising the contributions of these important drivers of the UK economy.
Ethnic minority owned businesses contribute an estimated £25-£32 billion to the UK economy each year. The existing and potential economic impact of BAME business is well established and these communities have a long history of entrepreneurship. In fact, research from Aston University in Birmingham backs this up. They used data from the 2017 UK report – Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, which shows that people from ethnic minority and immigrant backgrounds are twice as likely as their white British counterparts to be entrepreneurs.
Huge Potential Asset
BAME owned businesses represent a huge potential asset to the UK economy and at this critical time. the agility and international links of many BAME business owners mean that they are also very well placed to help with the post-Brexit scale up of trading internationally.
Professor Monder Ram OBE, from the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship and expert advisor to the APPG, has done extensive research into BAME business owners. In his report Diversity, Economic Development and New Migrant Entrepreneurs (February 2018), he finds that BAME business owners are an industrious group with a track record for innovation and that they are frequently at the heart of many communities. Their impact is often not just economic by creating wealth through the encouragement of increased spending and their productivity across the economy, but also social, by creating social mobility opportunities through self-employment and the employment of local people.
Inclusive Business Growth
The APPG aims to represent the interests of BAME business owners and promote a wider awareness of the impacts of policies on them. It also aims to support the opening up of opportunities across the economy for a more inclusive business growth. As a part of its representations, the APPG will proactively engage with policy makers and position itself as a resource to support relevant consultations in order to provide evidence and make submissions and recommendations that articulate key critical issues that promote growth.
Going forward, the plan for the APPG will also be to create an integrated, business centred strategy with the impact to reach across industry from grass roots micro and SME business owners through to FTSE 100 industry leaders.
For further information about the APPG for BAME Business Owners please contact Diana Chrouch firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: 07445 978 902
Notes to editor
Baroness Burt of Solihull, long time diversity champion and author of the Burt report on Women’s Entrepreneurship is a keen advocate and supporter of the group. The APPG was set up in a response to an enquiry about support for BAME businesses by Diana Chrouch, who as a BAME business owner that runs a marketing consultancy, was also instrumental in enlisting support for the initiative.
- Aston University in Birmingham report on the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor UK Report 2017
- Diversity, Economic Development And New Migrant Entrepreneurs.Urban Studies, 1-23 – Trevor Jones, Monder Ram, and Maria Villares-Varela, (2018)
- Growth and Diversity: Meeting Needs, Seizing Opportunities – BBA Diversity and Inclusion Council is now integrated into UK Finance – 2016
- The Burt report: inclusive Support For Women In Enterprise (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills; 2015)