The Enterprise Support Programme is a programme run in partnership with Islington Council to help Black, Asian and Minority ethnic-owned businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recognising the unique and significant challenges faced by Black, Asian and Minority ethnic businesses, Action for Race Equality has been working closely with a range of local Islington businesses since February 2022, providing them with one-to-one consultancy support, themed masterclasses, and something called Action Learning Sets.
Collaborative learning exercises
Action Learning Sets (ALS) were developed in the 1940s by Reginald Revans, a university professor and scientist, as a new way for managers to learn and develop together. They have been used in a range of platforms, including in the NHS and other public services.
They have many benefits for those involved, whatever the topic may be, including:
- Increasing efficiency and profits by identifying areas of improvement in a business.
- Supporting skill development by learning from others in the group.
Below, we’ve outlined the impact these group activities have had on the Enterprise Support Programme businesses.
Divine House of Make-up
Divine House of Make-up by make-up artist Isang Obot is a fast-rising high fashion make-up brand. Isang started the business in 2018 and has gradually been expanding it since by attending beauty tradeshows and exhibitions; becoming a member of an exclusive Nigerian start-up community, and by contacting beauty influencers.
Isang’s challenge was marketing her business and products to stand out from other brands, as well as raising awareness of the brand itself.
Isang posed this issue to other businesses during her Action Learning Set, and through questioning and probing received a range of solutions and strategies that would help her navigate key areas in marketing, almost immediately:
- Taking note of social media analytics, e.g. who is viewing her content and their demographic.
- Changing marketing graphics to make them more eye-catching.
- Creating a stable marketing budget, including considering hiring a marketing company.
- Giving promotional discounts on the website for new customers.
- Reviewing the website images to expand her target audience.
- Giving out testers and offers to promote the business.
- Making website reviews more robust and open to feedback.
- Wearing her makeup brand more to showcase the products.
Overall, Isang was impressed by the session: “an eye-opener to what people are doing and how I can implement it in my own business/ clients… and a learning curve.”
Find out more about Divine House of Make-up
Shea Love London
The Enterprise Programme is currently scheduled to be running until June 2022. There are still opportunities to get involved in free business masterclasses, and receive one-to-one support if eligible.