Black owned businesses in the UK face a variety of challenges such as underrepresentation, limited access to start-up funds, and barriers accessing wider markets. Recent reports have shown that 88% of Black owned businesses have been self-funded and quite relevant to this figure studies have shown that Black owned businesses are 5 times more likely to be rejected for Loans and Grants.
These figures highlight the need for change so that Black businesses are able to imagine, actualise and succeed fairly in the UK.
Representation is a key factor in the beginning of the process towards starting a business. As a black child it’s easy to imagine being a musician or an athlete since we are able to see others who look like us in these realms. However when it comes to conversations of business, finance or wealth, it’s hard to find role models. Not that they aren’t out there, but often we don’t see them and if we do they are an anomaly.
Furthermore when we need hair products or cultural foods, we venture to find specific places and this perpetuates a sense of “otherness”.
As much as we celebrate these precious spaces in our communities where we can find and be ourselves, this sense of preciousness is wrapped in scarcity and fears of issues such as gentrification. This is a very real and sad consequence faced by small businesses generally, but more so within communities of immigrants with less than 4 generations who have limited access to networks and wealth.
As an extension of the Black Lives Matter movement, and in line with the Black Pound initiative, Melanin Markets Mcr was created to provide a place for EVERYONE to actively support and engage with Black owned businesses.
Make sure to add the date to your diary and prepare your Christmas list, and we’ll see you there to celebrate Black businesses!