Metro Mayor funds hub for black-led businesses

As part of his Race Equality Programme, Steve Rotheram has unveiled a £214,000 funding package to support a trio of projects that will help tackle racial inequality in Liverpool city region. Tony McDonough reports

Meeting, work, employment, business
New funding will help create a city region hub for black-led businesses


Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor is to fund Merseyside’s first business support hub for black-led businesses.

As part of his Race Equality Programme, Mr Rotheram has unveiled a £214,000 funding package to support a trio of projects that will help tackle racial inequality in the city region.

It includes £93,573 for the Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre to run a pilot to develop the concept and delivery plan for a project which aims to create the city region’s first business incubation and support hub for black-led businesses.

A further will go to the Positive Action & Employment Support Programme for the design of an city region-wide positive action infrastructure and employment support programme. And £55,000 will go to the International Slavery Museum to help make its facilities more accessible and providing a new legacies programme.

Michelle Charters, chief executive of from Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre, said: “We are delighted with this financial support and commitment from Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram and the Combined Authority.

“It will allow us to work in collaboration with The Women’s Organisation and build on the work of L8 A Better Place in order to pilot and develop the Nia Black Business Hub, which will offer support to people of African, Caribbean, Asian and Arab descent in order to develop new ideas, initiatives and businesses in the Liverpool city region.”

The Women’s Organisation has already demonstrated a strong track record of reaching out to all communities in Merseyside to encourage entrepreneurship over the past two decades. It is also the lead agency for the Liverpool City Region Enterprise Hub.

Mr Rotheram added: “Events over the past year have bought into sharp focus the deep-seated and structural inequalities that exist in our society and, as Mayor, I have committed our city region to taking meaningful action to address this.

“In October we launched our Race Equality Programme and pledged to listen honestly to the issues facing the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities in our city region and work together to drive change.

This funding marks and an important first step and I’m delighted we’ve been able to help projects that support BAME businesses, address inequalities and underrepresentation in our economy, and face up to the legacy of slavery in our city region.”

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