Action for Race Equality (ARE) was delighted to attend the kick-off event for the Future Camden Fund on Tuesday 6th February to meet the entrepreneurs being funded as part of an initiative with Camden Council, ARE and the School of Social Entrepreneurs.
The Future Camden Fund by Camden Council is supporting small businesses to have a positive social impact on the local borough and its communities. We’re thrilled to be partners of this programme, and to be providing a range of business support elements to participants.
So far, three brilliant businesses are the first to join the programme:
The Fund is particularly welcoming applications from Black and female-owned businesses, who the Council realise are frequently underrepresented on business programmes they have run in the past.
Through our work at ARE, we understand the barriers that Black, Asian and Minority-owned businesses face in accessing funding and mentorship, with only 1.7% of venture capital investments in the UK between 2009 and 2019 being allocated to entrepreneurs where all team members are from ethnically diverse backgrounds, despite accounting for 14% of the population. When looking at Black women specifically, this figure goes down to 0.02% (Extend Ventures, 2020).
The programme includes an element of funding, either via a loan or a Match Trading grant, as well as a package of tailored business support provided by ARE. This includes bespoke one-to-one consultancy with our specialist consultants, peer-to-peer learning sessions, and in-person networking events. We make cultural competency a priority in the support we offer so, as well as having expert business knowledge, our consultants understand and have lived experience of the additional barriers that ethnic minority and female business owners need to navigate.
The Future Camden Fund is open on a rolling basis until all of the funding has been awarded to local businesses.
If you have a small business based in Camden, you can find out more information on applying here: Future Camden Fund – Camden Council.