Is it Possible to Truly Bridge the Distressing Investment Gap for Black Entrepreneurs in the UK?
Working with Burn CIC to raise and address the fundamental funding issue in the UK.
In the vast spectrum of digital entrepreneurship, the glaring lack of diversity in investment opportunities is a wound that refuses to heal. As an advocate for change and as an expert in the field of AI and technology, the statistics often leave me disheartened.
The cold under-representation of the Black community in the UK, where Black entrepreneurs have received a mere 0.24% of total venture capital invested in the UK over the past decade, is painful to acknowledge.
Let me say that AGAIN.
“Black Entrepreneurs get 0.2% of the VC funding in the UK.”
The struggle for establishing economic stability and achieving entrepreneurial dreams is strenuous and immensely challenging for Black founders, particularly Black women who have managed to secure only 0.02% of this total investment. I have witnessed this firsthand, both as a testament to these struggles and as someone passionate about changing the narrative. But one of the main issues is that:
“Around 89% of VC’s are male and white. Only 3% are black and 1% are black women”
So if people lend money and invest in people that are like themselves, and who know them, and let’s be honest — this is what happens. Then what chance do you really have on getting investment — no matter how great the idea — if you are a black person and especially if you are a black woman?
But there are small pockets of potential hope. In my journey, over the past two decades or more, I’ve encountered inspirational leaders and initiators such as Black Seed, the first seed fund in Europe dedicated exclusively for investing in Black founders. And our own BURN cic in Manchester whose mission it is to
“Make Racial Inequalities History”
But can we do that?
What’s the good news?
Despite this, there are silver linings, inspiring stories of individual sacrifices, collective amidst uphill battles and victories against the odds. Among those leading this fight for economic justice, a notable player is the Black United Representation Network BURN. Known for their effective work and robust initiatives, BURN has been instrumental in creating impactful and community-serving solutions.
They are the organisation I was helping today with some filming for Granada Reports about the subject and whose report I was part of for the Business Growth Hub.
It was this report that inspired me to help MORE with the issue of the lack of black female VC funding.
“ONLY 0.02% of the funding in the UK goes to black women!!”
As part of my mission to shift the landscape, I have had the privilege to dedicate over £3000 towards AI training for black women entrepreneurs, marking a significant chapter for Black Awareness Month in the UK. My goal within this initiative was not just to provide a momentary solution, but to equip these incredible women with a weapon that will prove invaluable in the long run: knowledge.
What else can we do?
The road to equality is long and arduous. But with steps towards equity and active initiatives, we plough on, determined to alter this disconcerting narrative. And it’s partnerships, collaborations, and shared ideals that will pave this road.
Hand in hand with organisations like BURN and initiatives like the work at Black Seed, we aren’t just chasing an elusive dream; we are crafting a realistic path to introduce an era where access to funding isn’t determined by the colour of one’s skin.
The mission isn’t over. Nor will it be until investment is a fair and equal opportunity available to all entrepreneurs, regardless of their ethnicity or gender. So, I invite you, as readers, supporters, potential investors, and fellow advocates, to join me in driving change, learn from organisations like BURN and celebrate initiatives like Black Seed.
Together, we can craft a reality where all entrepreneurs have an equal chance of transforming their dream into a tangible, successful reality.
Don’t you feel that only 0.2% of VC money going to black entrepreneurs is APPALLING?
References for the piece.
[3. Google Europe Blog]
[4. BURN CIC]
[5. EU Startups]
[6. Dan Sodergren]