New research report launches five key commitments to support minoritised ethnic communities.
Three social investment partners – Access – The Foundation for Social Investment (Access), Social Investment Business (SIB) and Power to Change – want to improve their understanding of how well they currently serve the needs of minoritised ethnic communities, specifically relating to the provision of enterprise development support for social and community enterprises and access to social investment.
The report – Minoritised Ethnic Community and Social Enterprises – is written by authors Dr Leandro Sepulveda and Synnøve Rabbevåg at the Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research (CEEDR) at Middlesex University. Sado Jirde – CEO of the Black South West Network and Yvonne Field – Executive Director at the Ubele Initiative – acted as advisors to the project.
The literature confirmed some important barriers across the enterprise support and social investment sector and provided the following key commitments for each of the partners:
- Changing incentives in long-standing programmes to reward partners who can consistently demonstrate better reach to minoritised ethnic communities, and engaging new partners who we have not worked with before;
- Developing new programmes which specifically support minoritised ethnic communities in collaboration with appropriate partners and networks; and changing existing ones too;
- Changing investment policies to place diversity, equity and inclusion on an equal footing with financial performance and social impact;
- Using their improved data to understand the points in the process where specific barriers exist for minoritised ethnic communities and removing those barriers;
- Continuing to address power dynamics: reviewing their own governance and decision-making processes and structures, and those of their delivery partners.
Seb Elsworth, Chief Executive of Access – The Foundation for Social Investment – said: “We are grateful to Middlesex University and our expert advisors for this clear account of our collective performance to date. It will form the baseline against which our future performance on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion will be assessed. Access is committed to making social enterprise support and social investment truly inclusive and fair. We will deliver this through consultation and engagement with minoritised ethnic and excluded communities, and co-production in active partnerships with those under-represented communities.”
Vidhya Alakeson, Chief Executive at Power to Change, said: “Along with our partners Social Investment Business and Access, we are pleased to launch this report, driving us to explore and mitigate barriers to supporting social and community enterprises which are led by and supporting people from minoritised ethnicities. To move forward towards equity, we are educating our staff team about marginalisation and inequity, we are listening to communities experiencing these unequal impacts and integrating their advice into our processes, and designing activities to support those in most need.”
Nick Temple, Chief Executive of Social Investment Business, said: “We are pleased to be launching this report with our partners Access and Power to Change. Social Investment Business believes in high quality data driving better decision-making, and this report makes an important contribution to that evidence base. We are committed to making greater progress in our support for minoritised ethnic communities; so we will use this report to both drive forward action with our partners and also to hold each other to account.”