To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the British Business Bank report on entrepreneurship and diversity in the UK; and if he will publish the recommendations of that report.
20 November 2020
We are grateful to the British Business Bank for launching the ‘Alone together: Entrepreneurship and diversity in the UK’ report. The report is published in full and we are working with the British Business Bank to understand how to better address the challenges faced by BAME and women-led businesses. Government always welcomes input to ensure our support benefits these communities.
A diverse and inclusive finance ecosystem is good for entrepreneurs, companies, investors, and the society as a whole. Therefore, all of the Government’s business support schemes are open to eligible businesses from all regions and backgrounds, including BAME and female entrepreneurs. The Government will continue to monitor the implementation and take up of the schemes, working with investors, lenders, representative groups across the industry and the British Business Bank.
We are working with the private sector to deliver the eight initiatives of the Rose Review. Great progress has been made over the past year with NatWest and Be the Business jointly launching the Rose Review Female Entrepreneurs Mentoring Programme soon on 27 October.
More widely, the Government has set an ambition of 20,000 start-up loans being issued to Black and Minority Ethnic applicants by the end of this parliament. Of all the start-up loans issued up to September 2020, 16,159 loans (21% of lending) was issued to entrepreneurs from a BAME background and around 30,000 loans, worth over £239m, were issued to female entrepreneurs.
The Department’s Ministerial team is also actively engaging with entrepreneurs from the BAME business community to better understand their concerns, including access to finance, and has undertaken 10 engagements since March 2020.