The Inclusive Entrepreneurs programme, funded by Islington Council, is a bespoke programme of support set up to reach underrepresented groups who would not usually access seed funding grant programmes for start-ups run by the Council. In particular, Black, Asian and Minority Owned businesess. The programme also targets female entrepreneurs and people with disabilities in the borough, as part of Islington Council’s wider Business Recovery Programme.*
Action for Race Equality is working in partnership with the council to provide a blended support service for fledgling entrepreneurs from underrepresented groups. We aim to address the needs of businesses at the start of their journey and help them develop successfully and sustainably.
Since February 2022, the programme has followed a two-stage approach. Entrepreneurs have been granted one-off seed funding, as well as ongoing support with our specialist facilitators and consultants through a mix of one-to-one sessions, masterclasses, peer-to-peer learning groups and opportunities to attend networking events.
*The term ‘BAME’ is used by Islington Council.
Shaping the programme
The majority of contact time with our businesses is during the one-to-one consultancy. Our consultants have years of specialist knowledge and create a truly bespoke set of sessions to maximise each start-up’s potential while working flexibly around the time constraints each entrepreneur faces.
We have also worked carefully with Islington Council and our expert consultants to develop masterclasses focussed on the following key areas:
- Business planning and management
- Using data to increase business opportunities
- Financial planning and the basic principles of finance
- Finding the right market for your business
- Planning and running effective promotions
- Turning your marketing into sales
Alongside this, businesses have been taking part in innovative learning exercises called Action Learning Sets. As these are small group activities, we carefully identify a challenge that a portion of the businesses are facing and develop a session to target this.
It has widened my horizons and thinking”Local business owner
For more information on the Inclusive Entrepreneurs Programme, please contact Project Support Officer, Tara Shah.