North East business groups hold session for black and minority entrepreneurs

Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic business owners in the North East are being invited to a consultation meeting to share their views about any barriers they face when trying to access business advice.

The meeting with Newcastle MP and Shadow Business Minister Chi Onwurah will be held at 2pm today via Zoom.

Ms Onwurah will be joined by a panel of business support experts including Yvonne Gale, CEO of North East Loan Fund Managers, Diana Chrouch, special advisor to the All Party Parliamentary Group for Black Asian and Minority Ethnic Business Owners and the chair of ethnic minority business policy for the Federation of Small Business, Ammar Mirza of Asian Business Connexions and Colin Bell, business and sector growth director at the North East LEP.

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Mr Bell said: “We’re committed to being an inclusive service for all businesses and we want to listen to the Black and Minority Ethnic business community to understand if businesses know about the support available and if there’s anything that stops them from accessing support.

“The mission of the North East Growth Hub team is simple: we want all businesses in our area to get the support they need to start, grow and thrive.”

The team behind the North East Growth Hub is currently running a series of online focus groups meetings as part of a listening exercise to hear the views of diverse entrepreneurs, chaired by Ms Chrouch. Separate meetings will be held for different ethnic business communities with a women-only meeting for diverse female business owners.

Ms Chrouch said: “We’re really pleased to have the support of Newcastle MP Chi Onwurah who will be attending one of the events, plus a number of ethnic minority community leaders, ethnic minority business networks and faith groups. I hope that people can join us to share their views and opinions on business support in our region.”

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