🗓 Date: Monday, 26 September 2022
⏳ Time: 17:00
📍Location: Lower Galleria Room 1, ACC Liverpool, Kings Dock Street, Liverpool, England, L3 4FP
SME4Labour and LOWICK Fringe: Building the Black Economy
Black communities across the country still witness a lack of investment, opportunity and support. This Labour Conference saw Flo Eshalomi MP, Karl Lokko, Cllr Anthony Okereke, Abdul Hai OBE and Cllr Kemi Akinola discussed how we build the Black economy and deliver for previously underserved communities.
There was a consensus amongst the panel that there is a well-recognised and considerable entrepreneurial spirit amongst Black communities across the country but especially in London. However, the access to finance, and therefore the growth potential does not currently provide the support that Black founders and business owners need to give them a fair footing in the business landscape.
Karl Lokko, who is Chairman at Black Seed, a £10m fund that gives seed capital to Black founders, noted that too often, mentorship is seen as the answer, noting “we don’t need more mentors, we know how to do it!”. Flo Eshalomi, MP for Vauxhall, also shared her views about how unfair procurement practices are and how Black businesses are excluded from scaling up due to non-Black owned businesses dominating the larger procurement market.
From a local government perspective Cllrs Okereke, Akinola and former Councillor Abdul Hai noted the work being done in their boroughs to drive opportunity to underserved communities, with a specific focus on youth work and harnessing the aspiration of black youths across London.