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GLOBAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP WEEK

Tuesday, November 29, 2012.

 

Research from the LDA has found evidence to suggest that the black community contribute more than £90 billion to the UK economy every year.  With the ethnic minority population in the UK set to rise to make up almost 50% of Britain’s population by 2051, the number of BME businesses in the UK is growing at a faster rate than ever before.

 

Rates of self-employment and entrepreneurial activity, meanwhile, are also incredibly high in women from ethnic minority backgrounds, in comparison to their peers according to the BITC. However, the UK Women’s Enterprise Task Force has found that 25% of BME businesses report a lack of confidence in dealing with the financial aspect of their business, in contrast to the national average is 16%.

 

Global Entrepreneurship Week, which takes place in November each year was started to create a national conversation about entrepreneurship which will help to connect people, share ideas and address issues to drive the next generation of business owners. With its UK base at the Business & IP Centre in the British Library, an already invaluable source of expertise for any start-up business, GEW is a fantastic starting point for anyone, from any background, to turn their ideas into business success.

 

This year former Apprentice winner, Tim Campbell, joined forces with the Business & IP Centre to offer advice, support and inspiration to people who want to turn their ideas into business success.

 

Tim set up the Bright Ideas Trust in 2008 with the aim of ‘Empowering Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs’. The charitable foundation works with youth organisations across London, giving investment to aspiring entrepreneurs with amazing ideas bring them to life. The charity targets those from disadvantaged backgrounds, those with limited financial resources and ethnic minorities.

 

Tim is also heavily involved with the British Library, which is an excellent resource for any start-up business.

 

Natasha Faith and Semhal Zemikael, founders of luxury jewellery brand La Diosa, learnt their jewellery making skills from a small group of women whilst living in Mexico during a stint of travelling. Having put these skills into practice to create pieces of opulent precious and semi-precious jewellery, the duo wanted to create a collection that ‘evokes empowerment’ for beautiful women. Natasha and Semhal used the resources in the Business & IP Centre’s market research collections to investigate the jewellery and luxury markets and used the Library’s databases, such as GrantFinder, to find funding opportunities for their enterprise. Inspired by the ancient jewellery of the Aztecs and the Mayans, La Diosa, which literally translates as ‘The Goddess’ in Spanish, they have gone on to dress high profile celebrities such as Kim Cattrall and Kate Middleton. 

 

If, like Natasha and Semhal, you think that you have the potential to turn your hobbies into a business idea, events like the ‘Make It, Sell it Day’ at the British Library are a fantastic way to give your creative juices more of a business focus. The event gives women an opportunity to meet experienced professionals from the craft and jewellery sector and get advice in branding, marketing, retail and production.

 

With the entrepreneurial gap between men and women in the UK closing fast, the ‘Women in Business’ days and workshops at the Business & IP Centre, give women the chance to meet an array of successful female entrepreneurs from all backgrounds and truly get inspired.  Business is no longer a distant dream for women in ethnic minority groups; it is a very real and exciting possibility.

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