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Business: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN HL9159, tabled on 13 October 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to remove barriers to COVID-19 financial support for BAME run businesses.

Answered on

27 October 2020

A diverse and inclusive ecosystem is good for entrepreneurs, companies, investors, and society as a whole and HMG are committed to ensuring people from all backgrounds and regions benefit from the Government’s access to business finance schemes.

All the Government’s finance schemes, including the Future Fund, that were launched to provide support for those affected by Covid-19 are open to eligible businesses run by entrepreneurs from all regions and backgrounds, including Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) businesses. Government will continue to monitor the implementation and take up of the schemes, working with lenders, the British Business Bank (BBB) and across industry.

The BBB published diversity data for the Future Fund on 22 September 2020, which showed that £427.1m worth of Convertible Loan Agreements have been approved to companies with BAME-only and mixed ethnicity management teams.

The Start Up Loans programme, also operated by the BBB, delivered nearly 77,000 loans overall in the UK, supporting nearly £650m of funding since the programme’s launch in 2012 to the end of September this year. 25% of the total number of these loans was made to BAME-led businesses in the UK.

The Department’s Ministerial team is actively engaging with entrepreneurs from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic business communities and has undertaken 10 engagements since March 2020.