CREME has a new home

monder-ramBirmingham Business School is the new home for the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship* (CREME) and its flagship knowledge exchange initiative, the Enterprise and Diversity Alliance* (EDA). The University of Birmingham's commitment to research excellence and civic engagement make it an ideal setting for my colleagues and me to pursue our work on diversity and enterprise. Birmingham is also my home town. It's the place where I have always lived and where my immediate and extended family settled, set up businesses, and made their way. Exciting times.

We have hit the ground running with a number of key initiatives that will unfold in the coming months. The first of these stems from our association with the national Enterprise Research Centre* (ERC). CREME will work alongside the University of Strathclyde to deliver an ambitious research agenda that will provide a definitive assessment of the barriers that ethnic minorities and women business owners face in raising finance. Running parallel to this research exercise is an ambitious programme of knowledge exchange co-ordinated by the EDA. The EDA will ensure that emerging research findings have an impact of policy makers, practitioners and minority entrepreneurs. It is working with the British Bankers' Association, amongst others, on this task.

We're also busy with the arrangements for the 17th Annual Ethnic Minority Business Conference*. This benchmark event, which incidentally was launched in Birmingham in 1997, is a key forum for the dissemination of research and good practice on diversity and enterprise. We're splitting the event over two days (and two cities!) On the first day - October 9th - we're at the headquarters of the British Bankers' Association in London sharing the different ways in which CREME and the EDA are influencing research, policy and practice on minority enterprise. We return to Birmingham on October 10th to host a networking lunch at the Town Hall to which leading minority business networks across the UK have been invited.

I'm delighted that both CREME and the EDA will sit within the Business School's newly-formed 'Enterprise and Diversity Cluster', led by Professor Francis Greene. The Cluster brings together a raft of important research, practitioner and teaching initiatives; it also emphasises the importance of entrepreneurship and diversity to the University as a whole. Like CREME, the Cluster is firmly committed to 'engaged scholarship', where impact beyond the academic community is highly valued.

- Monder Ram

* Find out more details about CREME and its initiatives and conferences below.

Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship* (CREME)

The Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME) has transformed the 'perceptions' of ethnic minority entrepreneurs by working with business policy-makers and influential organisations to engage collaboratively with overlooked or disregarded business communities. The centre’s work is governed by three principles: engaged scholarship; transforming practice and outstanding engagement and dissemination.

The Enterprise and Diversity Alliance (EDA)

The Enterprise and Diversity Alliance (EDA), a unique collaboration to pioneer new ways of promoting development and growth of diverse SMEs through imaginative and productive relationships with large firms and private and public business service and finance providers. Current members include: the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants the British Bankers’ Association, Barclays Bank, Business in the Community, the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, the Equality and Human Rights Commission and Lloyds Bank.

The Enterprise Research Centre (ERC)

The Enterprise Research Centre (ERC) is an independent research centre which aims to provide trusted, robust and independent commentary on SME research and policy. The ERC is a partnership between Warwick Business School, Aston Business School, Imperial College Business School, Strathclyde Business School and Birmingham Business School. CREME is co-leading the ERC’s work on diversity and enterprise with Professor Sara Carter of Strathclyde University. CREME’s flagship knowledge exchange initiative – the Enterprise and Diversity Alliance – will assist the ERC in its aim to develop productive relationships between banks and minority entrepreneurs.

Annual Ethnic Minority Business Conference

The Conference provides a platform for cutting-edge research and policy initiatives on ethnic minority entrepreneurship. It is the most important event of its kind, and is regularly addressed by government ministers and senior professionals from a range of sectors.