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30 March 2022

Welcoming organisations onto the Black and Minoritised Communities Sector Enterprise Development Programme

Rijia Begum
Relationship Manager

In December 2021, The Enterprise Development Programme (EDP) welcomed 12 Black and Minoritised Communities Sector organisations to the programme.

The EDP programme aims to provide a broad range of support for charities and social enterprises in England, helping them to become more financially resilient by developing new enterprise models, or by growing existing ones. The programme will support the organisations’ trading income to generate unrestricted funding that can provide greater financial freedom and flexibility.

Each organisation will agree to a package of support, which will enable the organisation to grow financial resilience and impact. The package of support can include the following:

  • Bespoke learning and training sessions co-designed by the organisation and the sector- lead. For the BMCEDP cohort, Peer Action Learning started in March 2022 for two groups and will run at six weekly, regular intervals, supported by facilitators.
  • Grants to research or test out new ideas, to launch new enterprises or grow existing ones. Grants can be for varying amounts but will usually not be more than £30k
  • Extensive peer-learning and networking opportunities.

 


What does being in the EDP cohort entail?

In February 2022, I visited two organisations from the Black & Minoritised Communities cohort; Wise Youth Trust and Women’s Inclusive Team. I was joined by Yvonne Witter from The Ubele Initiative, our partner leading on this sector.

Wise Youth Trust are based in Bethnal Green, East London. The organisation kindly provided a tour of their offices and the Enterprise Hub, which is a workshop facility and home to their printing business. The hub is located in a container space, and is a stone’s throw away from the trendy streets of Shoreditch.  The Enterprise Hub is dedicated to the advancement of entrepreneurship and leadership skills of young people. They provide accredited enterprise training to young people and provide equipment and production resources to print on garments and accessories.

Wise Youth Trust were very enthusiastic about joining the EDP cohort. It was wonderful seeing their workshop space and the number of young people they have supported so far, as well as intend to support in the future. They stated that with support from EDP, they would be able to strengthen their garment business by increasing their direct sales, and in turn provide more training opportunities to young people who are otherwise vulnerable and at-risk of becoming isolated. EDP will support the organisation to build on their online marketing, e-commerce development and business planning.

Yvonne and I also visited Women’s Inclusive Team (WIT) in the afternoon, who are also located in Bethnal Green. WIT run a broad range of services for women and were founded by a group of Black Muslim Somali Women. They are looking to develop and fully launch “Hooyo East” their Somali food delivery enterprise. They are hoping this enterprise will increase awareness of the Somali-London culture, but also provide the organisation with an additional income stream that will support their core charitable work.

Upon our visit, the organisation kindly treated as to a delicious lunch that was freshly prepared for us from the Hooyo East Cafe. We were joined by the entire WIT team and a group of women from the NHS, who had delivered wellbeing workshops earlier in the day. It was great to get to know the organisation, and truly appreciate the work that they have delivered in Tower Hamlets for the Somali community. With EDP support, WIT will be able to grow and fully launch Hooyo East café. EDP will support the organisation to build on their business plan, financial plans and marketing in order to increase their sales.

Overall, experiencing the work of organisations is critical to understanding the value that is driven to the communities. The COVID-19 pandemic was an extremely challenging time for most people in the UK. Since lockdown restrictions have been implemented, the face-to-face interactions that were once a hallmark of working life, have been diminished. Therefore, it is critical that we maximise opportunities (such as this) to observe the fantastic ground-level work organisations are continuing to undertake. It is quintessential that we do not become oblivious to the community-level changes these organisations are driving.

 


How to apply for the programme

The EDP Black and Minoritised Communities sector will re-open in May 2022 for a second round of applications.

For further details about EDP and how to apply please visit our website: https://www.enterprisedevelopmentprogramme.org.uk/ or contact the Grants Team at grants@sibgroup.org. You can also sign up to SIB’s newsletter for future updates on this and all of our programmes.

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