About the research: Support for black and ethnic minority businesses

Black and ethnic minority businesses make important contributions to the UK economy, contributing an estimated £25-32 billion per year and helping to regenerate declining sectors and places. These businesses act as catalysts for multinational trading links and help to integrate new migrants. However, a lack of supportive diversity policy and practice hinders economic and social inclusion.

Business mentoring is a key way to ensure survival and enhance the growth of black and ethnic minority businesses and indeed of all small businesses. However, several factors have prevented them from effectively participating in mentoring services, including a lack of communication of the benefits of mentoring services, not enough resource for mentor and mentee relationships and the small number of mentors and role models currently available.

Research by Kiran Trehan, Professor of Leadership and Enterprise at the University of Birmingham, is helping to support black and ethnic minority businesses by demonstrating the value of peer-to-peer mentoring as an effective way of growing a business. As part of this work, Professor Trehan has helped facilitate peer-to-peer mentoring between large and small firms and helped to provide such businesses with access to money, markets and management skills. Kiran has taken up national advisory roles that shape debates and policy on leadership, inclusivity and diversity.

She has worked closely with the West Midlands Combined Authority to develop a major report on leadership diversity, which has resulted in improved diversity strategy, operations and workplace practices, at both a local and national scale.

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