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Barriers for black entrepreneurs set to close

A new investment initiative has been launched by ACE Entrepreneurs to support and fund early-stage black-owned businesses.

The programme has been launched to tackle a funding gap for black-owned businesses and is led by businesswoman and entrepreneur Nadine Campbell, Founder of ACE Entrepreneurs, a community for diverse entrepreneurs.

As well as raising funds, it will also create business plans, revenue and expenditure workbooks, and bespoke business reviews for all applicants, which can be then used to look for and secure other funding opportunities. All of which are crucial to long term business progress.

The success rate for starting up a business for black entrepreneurs is in line with the UK average. However, entrepreneurs from ethnic backgrounds have significantly lower success rates in the long term. Research has shown key differences in performance are in access to finance, social capital, household income.

There is also an under-representation of certain ethnic groups among leadership teams in the workplace, which reduces the opportunity to develop business-relevant skills, knowledge and networks. Of all groups, diverse female entrepreneurs have the biggest disadvantages across all areas.

As a result, more black founders are forced to self-fund to an average of £14k compared to the £9,500 from the UK average entrepreneur. These statistics suggest there is a lack of equal funding opportunities available. At least 78% of black entrepreneurs had no formal funding at all and only 14% received startup loans, guaranteed by the government. 

ACE already provides a significant free business knowledge learning base for entrepreneurs on their platform and the next step is this new investment programme.

Nadine Campbell said:

We have launched this initiative to increase investment opportunities for small businesses by creating our first micro funding programme for the diverse community. Kevin Edwards and I have significant experience in the business and investment sector to help scale promising businesses and disrupt the lack of funding and support for this demographic. 

Despite the diverse community being one of the hardest hit during the pandemic, thousands of businesses were opened and are trading. What they lack is the ability to scale, which is where ACE entrepreneurs can offer business-changing funding and support.

The public conversation about supporting diverse led businesses is gaining momentum, what we need now is tangible solutions that can effect real change for the mass market. We are specifically looking to support these high potential entrepreneurs who need funding or business support to scale.

To find out more about the ACE Entrepreneurs Investment initiative, visit:

Founder Member of Campaign Collective, chair of the Public Relations & Communications Association Charity and Not-For-Profit Group. Write mainly about charity, public sector and social enterprise campaigns.