Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Communities embrace social enterprise as a better way to do business
Today, social entrepreneurs from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities gathered at a day-long event in Luton to call for more awareness of businesses with social and environmental goals.
Margaret Moran, MP for Luton South and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for social enterprise, along with business and community leaders were amongst those who joined in the debate.
The packed conference was organised by the Social Enterprise Coalition. It is the second in a series of events aimed to inspire and inform BAME entrepreneurs, business and community leaders about social enterprise.
Social enterprises are businesses run for a social and/or environmental purpose. There are 55,000 social enterprises in the UK, all putting social mission, ethical business practices and environmental sustainability at the heart of what they do.
A 2008 survey found that there are significantly higher levels of social entrepreneurship among BAME communities than there are among white communities (Rebecca Harding & Dennis Harding, Social Entrepreneurship in the UK, Delta Economics, 2008, p27).
Margaret Moran MP said:
“In Luton, we are very proud of our diversity and recognise how essential it is to tap into the wealth of experience that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communties have to offer. Particularly now, in times of economic difficulty, social enterprise should be promoted across all communities as a way of doing business responsibly, sustainably and ethically.”
Tokunbo Ajasa-Oluwa, one of England’s Social Enterprise Ambassadors and founder of Catch 22, a magazine journalism-training academy and communications agency for young and disaffected people, said:
“Social enterprise is so important right now. The opportunities are there in BAME communities, and in all communities, to make a real difference. The time is ripe for people with great ideas to use business to make a lasting difference to society and the environment.”
Jonathan Bland, chief executive of the Social Enterprise Coalition said:
“This series of events is meant to connect the social entrepreneurial spirit of BAME communities with social enterprise business models. It was fantastic to have such a great turn out and lots of debate and discussion about how social enterprise can contribute to stronger communities and a better economy.”
Topics at the event included the connection between faith and social enterprises, the opportunities for BAME social enterprises in the 2012 Olympics, and social enterprise solutions to the economic downturn.