A new crowdfunding initiative has been launched by ACE Entrepreneurs to support early stage black-owned businesses. The ‘small diverse business’ crowdfund is for £25,000, being raised on GoFundMe, which will be distributed to 10 small diverse businesses with initial stage growth investment. Led by businesswoman and entrepreneur Nadine Campbell, ACE Entrepreneurs is a community for diverse entrepreneurs and is also a champion of women in business.
The crowdfund has been launched to tackle a funding gap for black-owned businesses. Currently only 0.67% of UK businesses are black-owned despite black people accounting for 3.3% of the population.* The funding will include business support and upskilling to get the selected businesses to a stage where formal investors would be interested. The businesses will be selected by an expert investment panel. Additionally at least 50% of the businesses selected will also need to be female led with female founding teams getting less than 1% of all funding.**
The expert panel selecting the funding recipients includes: Nadine Campbell, serial entrepreneur and marketing expert, founder of the marketing consultancy The Digital Helpdesk and e-commerce business Mummy Kit; Kevin Edwards, Director at Deutsche Bank and senior international trader; Rashida Adbulai, Founder and CEO at Strand Sahara and Xavier Ballester, Director of Angel Investment Network’s brokerage division.
According to Campbell: “I have launched this initiative following requests directly from the black community, to increase opportunities for funding for small business and to tackle the lack of investment in the diverse community. Looking at and speaking to formal investors, I have noticed that the black community is grossly under-represented as accessible angel investors, which is having a knock on effect on diverse businesses being invested in. As a result, I have become a disruptor in this space.”
She continues: “Thankfully, I have seen there is a rise in investment for female led businesses, which are typically proven to be more successful than male only led businesses. For this reason, I want to focus on diverse led and especially diverse female led business. The fact that diverse entrepreneurs are not seen publicly, means there are generations of people who simply don’t believe starting a business is a viable, long term option. This initiative is intended to help break that cycle and help businesses with that vital first step.”