We are committed to promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment, and decent work for all. Businesses led by ethnic-minority entrepreneurs contribute at least £74 billion a year to the economy in the U.K. according to a new report, Minority Business Matters 2021 published by Open and MSDUK. Yet, they are under-represented in both the public and private sector of the U.K. supply chain, hindering inclusive growth and innovation. Ethnic minority businesses often struggle disproportionately when it comes to accessing finance and are often detached from mainstream business support networks. As of 2017, Bristol was the fifty-fifth worst city in the UK for employment inequality.
Our work supports Sustainable Development Goal 8 which aims to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth into full and productive employment and decent work for all. This goal has 12 targets which cover a range of areas, including accelerating national economic growth, promotion of decent work, entrepreneurship, financial inclusion, and global cooperation initiatives such as Aid for Trade, and a global strategy on youth employment. Our focus on improving working conditions, training, progression, and earning capacity within informal markets is by raising awareness and providing information about what incentives are accessible by formalisation. The informal economy no longer represents merely a temporary job but a secure and permanent source of income for many including graduates, low-skilled workers, and migrants.
Our micro-enterprise support program was geared towards supporting informal businesses to become more aware of the benefits of being formal. Our support is primarily focused on providing free advice and support to those operating in youth services, construction, hospitality, take-aways, and entertainment sectors.
The steps we take to support other businesses within our local community:
- Intervene on discussions and programs which address greater economic redistribution through trade and legislation changes in procurements.
- Actively seek opportunities and programmes for supply chain diversity.
- Work collaboratively with Black South West Network to develop Black and Asian businesses that can be contract-ready.