We have come together with Good Finance, Locality, Pioneers Post, UnLtd, The School for Social Entrepreneurs to celebrate black-led social enterprise.

See below a variety of content including:

  • Statistics on diversity in the social enterprise sector
  • Black-led social enterprises tackling society’s toughest social and environmental problems
  • Social enterprises shortlisted for UK Social Enterprise Awards 2021 that are addressing issues of diversity, inclusion, equity and justice
  • Podcast on using Therapeutic Hip Hop as an alternative to medication
  • Top tips for overcoming imposter syndrome
  • Sport & practices of martial arts to develop tools for young people
  • Training young people in media production
  • Black-owned Social Enterprises to buy from/support
  • People of colour feel like ‘temporary guests’ in social impact sector
  • It’s time to back black and minority ethnic social entrepreneurs
  • Female black power: The Rio de Janeiro entrepreneurship group finding solidarity amid crisis
  • How fashion connects the disconnected
13% of UK social enterprises are led by a person of colour. This level is broadly in line with the UK population as a whole and is higher than the figures among SMEs (5%) and charities (6%). 
18% of startup social enterprises (up to three years of age) are led by a person of colour.
29% of London-based social enterprises are led by a person of colour.
35% of UK social enterprises (and 68% of London-based ones) have at least one person of colour on their board. 
2.8% of board directors at social investment organisations are women of colour.
Sources: State of Social Enterprise, 2019; Diversity Forum, 2019

Social Enterprise UK

Social Enterprise UK are the leading global authority on social enterprise, the biggest network of social enterprises in the UK and a strategic partner to 6 government departments and have led public policy on social enterprises since 2002. We have unrivalled business relationships working with some of the biggest companies in the UK to support social enterprise through their supply chains, people and networks. Our membership is a network that includes all the leading lights of the UK social enterprise movement from multi-million-pound health care and public service providers to community organisations and retail businesses. Lastly, we have created the world’s largest commitment to social procurement through the Buy Social Corporate Challenge.

NameDescription
Black Gifted NetworkImplementing a recovery and advancement plan to boost their community via two digital centres.
Black Pounds Project CICSupports diverse entrepreneurs at any stage, to access the relevant resources, coaching and mentorship that will allow them to launch, scale and sustain their businesses.
Black United Representation NetworkThe Black United Representation Network (BURN) has been established to challenge and tackle racial inequalities impacting people of African Descent across the entire Greater Manchester Region, covering business, civic, public and VCSE sectors. Their objective is to achieve parity and equality of opportunity for Black residents in health, wellbeing, work and jobs, housing, transport, skills, training and economic growth.
bMoney Wize LtdProvides personal finance kits and workshops that aim to change the way young people think about money by encouraging a better understanding and handling of money affairs.
Butterfly BooksSocial Enterprise that writes children’s educational books. Butterfly Books challenge gender bias, and illustrate stories of inspiring parents transforming child perceptions.
Chocolate Films limitedAward-winning video production company reinvesting profits into organising film and animation workshops for disadvantaged young people and vulnerable adults.
GLOWTackles the complex challenges of the world through powerful connections and collaboration. They work with individuals, groups, organisations and communities in a diverse range of contexts, applying behavioural science to how people work together.
I am? ME! Love Me, See Me, Be Me CIC©?Focusing on empowering and raising the attainment of children through the representation of African Caribbean Heritage (ACH) within the Early Years and Primary Education sector.
London Skills & Development NetworkProvides high-quality adult education courses for learners wishing to improve their job prospects or change their careers.
Money A&EDelivers money skills workshops that have been proven to increase income, build confidence and transform lives.
PivotJewellery with a difference helping those experiencing #homelessness to pivot their lives.
pro touch SA CICThe charitable social enterprise that manages both the Academy and Community programmes across London. Re-investing all profit back into the programmes they operate across London. The organisation is run by London based sports (football) professionals as well as and youth-friendly people.
Rising Stars Property SolutionsProperty services company within the Midlands offering services in construction, gardening, clearance and cleaning.
Sahan Cares C.I.CHome care and support services for clients and families across West London delivered by highly trained carers who are continually assessed and qualified at the Sahan Cares Training Academy.
Soul Purpose 360Coaching, mentoring, training and networking social enterprise for Black women in the community development sector.
Tarem ServicesSocial enterprise passionate about addressing social & environmental issues tackling in-work poverty for cleaners. All their employees are shareholders in the business and they receive dividends from the profit the company makes.
The Black CurriculumA social enterprise that delivers Black British history through the arts, in schools and in communities to young people in the UK.
The Little Coffee & Bean Co.Luxury chocolate and coffee produced by female farmers in areas of crisis.
The Soul ShackBlack and youth-led social enterprise restaurant and business programme for young people with experience of youth violence. delivering programmes and food security.
Ubele InitiativeAn African Diaspora led intergenerational social enterprise supporting communities to grow & develop through taking ownership of shared spaces, helping set up #socent & tackle systemic inequalities.
Ultra EducationA social enterprise running entrepreneurial education in schools & clubs for all children & young people regardless of background or social standing.
Urban MBAProvides enterprise programmes and business courses aimed to help young people develop their ideas and start their own sustainable commercial and social businesses.

The UK Social Enterprise Awards

The UK Social Enterprise Awards recognise the nation’s leading social enterprises shining a spotlight on the breadth and diversity of the social enterprise movement. From start-ups to multi-million-pound turnover businesses, health and social care organisations to cutting edge consumer-focused businesses.

One of the 15 categories is: Social Enterprise Building Diversity, Inclusion, Equity & Justice (sponsored by Coop)

Social justice is fundamental to the social enterprise movement. Over the last year, events like the Black Lives Movement brought renewed energy into the discourse around diversity, inclusion, equity and justice.

Here are the social enterprises shortlisted that are addressing these issues:

Black United Representation Network (CIC)

Commons Law CIC

Diversity and Ability

Money A+E

Spark and Co.

The Ubele Initiative

The School for Social Entrepreneurs

The School for Social Entrepreneurs helps 1,000 people a year develop the skills, strengths and networks they need to tackle society’s biggest problems. They run courses that equip people to start, scale and strengthen organisations that make a positive difference. But they’re not a traditional school. Learning with SSE is inspiring, action-based and accessible. Theysupport people in other ways too, such as funding and mentoring. Lord Michael Young founded SSE in 1997. Today they work internationally, with teams across the UK, Canada and India. Together, they’re changing lives and transforming communities.

Top tips for overcoming imposter syndrome

Meet Yaa Antwi-Nsiah, a graduate of SSE’s Lloyds Social Entrepreneurs Start Up programme and founder of Next Level Coaching. Check out her top tips for overcoming #ImposterSyndrome here.

Podcasts on using Therapeutic Hip Hop as an alternative to medication

“Black men are 7x more likely to be incarcerated or forcibly sectioned than signposted to softer interventions like talking therapy & medication.” Meet Hip Hop Heals, an SSE fellow, using Therapeutic Hip Hop as an alternative to medication. Check out the podcast here.

Sport & practices of martial arts to develop tools for young people

Meet Daryl Chambers, SSE fellow from Wolverhampton using the sport & practices of martial arts to develop tools in which young people can find their true potential. InPower has made the list of top 100 social enterprises in the UK for the last two years.

Training young people in media production

Daina Anderson is an SSE fellow and founder of Open Lens Media, working with young people to train them in media production. 

Locality

Locality supports local community organisations to be strong and successful. Our national network of 1,400 members helps hundreds of thousands of people every week. We offer specialist advice, peer learning and campaign with members for a fairer society. Together we unlock the power of community.

Since its beginnings in 1968, St Pauls Carnival has grown to become one of Bristol’s biggest attractions. Crossing generations through a celebration of Afro Caribbean culture, the event tells the story of how music, dance and community can bring people together. They managed to deliver Spirit Up!, a successful digital celebration, without being on the streets, while increasing their reach and developing new partnerships.

UnLtd

UnLtd finds, funds and supports social entrepreneurs – enterprising people with solutions that change our society for the better. We were formed in 2002 by seven organisations who believed that social entrepreneurs had a much bigger contribution to make to our economy and society. We were among the first to back individuals with their own ideas to create social good.

Black-owned Social Enterprises to buy from/support

“Taking part in #BlackPoundDay is a simple way to protest anti-Blackness in the UK, and lend your support to the Black community. The Black Pound Day website “encourages everyone to replace their usual purchases with products from Black-owned businesses” on the first Saturday of every month. In this blog you’ll find a list of Black-owned social enterprises that you could buy from next Black Pound Day – some of which are led by social entrepreneurs whom we have had the privilege of working with.”

Pioneers Post

Pioneers Post is the independent news network for the global impact community. Over two decades, they have established themselves as the essential source of intelligence and insight for pioneers across the impact economy, from social entrepreneurs and impact investors to changemakers working across business, civil society, philanthropy, government and public services.

People of colour feel like ‘temporary guests’ in social impact sector:

Feeling unwelcome and pressure to suppress their identity are just some of the difficulties people of colour face in the social impact sector, social enterprise and charity professionals said.” 

It’s time to back black and minority ethnic social entrepreneurs

“Frustrated with the status quo, Izzy Obeng and Bayo Adelaja both created ventures that make it easier for other black and minority ethnic founders to grow their businesses. But social entrepreneurs of colour in the UK still face barriers, especially when it comes to accessing finance. Dr Yaz Osho shares insights from a recent discussion with Obeng and Adelaja – and explains what kind of support is needed now.”

Female black power: The Rio de Janeiro entrepreneurship group finding solidarity amid crisis

Brazil faces one of the world’s worst Covid-19 outbreaks, with confirmed cases approaching 3 million. In Rio de Janeiro, 12% of infected people have died, making it the Brazilian state capital with the highest fatality rate. And in low-income areas, residents are not only battling the pandemic, they are also struggling to survive; many don’t have enough to eat and struggle to access clean water. Yael Berman reports on an all-female social enterprise that’s reinventing its work to support the community and strengthen women-led businesses.

We’re challenging attitudes that have been ingrained in society for so long’ – Lavinya Stennett, The Black Curriculum

When the Black Lives Matter movement dominated the headlines earlier this year, the conversation soon turned to the shortcomings of our education systems. Since then, London-based social enterprise The Black Curriculum has been inundated with requests for its school programmes, teacher training and consulting services, all of which aim to help redress what it says is a Eurocentric perspective in the UK curriculum. Founder 23-year-old Lavinya Stennett reflects on a “seismic moment” – and explains why the social enterprise community isn’t always as collaborative as it looks.”

Good Finance

Good Finance is a collaborative project to help improve access to information on social investment for charities and social enterprises. Our mission is to help charities & social enterprises navigate the world of social investment.

How fashion connects the disconnected

Faith Johnson founded Caramel Rock, a #Charity supporting young and vulnerable people in London through fashion and Employability. Learn more about how they use fashion to connect the disconnected and used social investment to further their impact, here.

Empowers individuals to build careers they enjoy and inclusive working environments

Arit Eminue Founded DiVA Apprenticeships, a #SocEnt that empowers individuals to build careers they enjoy while supporting employers to create an inclusive working environment that enables their staff to reach their full potential. Learn more here.