Nia Black Business Hub is a collaborative research project in Liverpool city region led by The Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre in partnership with The Women’s Organisation and Gloria Hyatt. Tony McDonough reports
A new hub set up to support and offer incubation to potential and existing black businesses and entrepreneurs in Liverpool city region is to hold the first two of a series of business forums.
Nia Black Business Hub is a collaborative research project led by The Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre in partnership with The Women’s Organisation and Gloria Hyatt, founder of Teach Consultancy and Liverpool’s first black headteacher.
It’s aim is to develop a deeper understanding of the challenges that black communities face when starting or growing a business in the city region. The venture is using the term ‘black’ to represent all non-white people and those who identify as black, Asian, and racial minorities.
The project is also looking to produce a model of culturally specific business support, responding to the needs of black-led businesses and setting a standard for the engagement and support of black businesses through listening and being directed by them.
Nia will create a space where black businesses can use their collective voice to shape the services they need and it will demonstrate the value of the black economy when addressing the gap in support for black businesses within the city region.
And it is now inviting people to attend the first two of a series of business forums. Both are free to attend and will be virtual webinars. The first event takes place on Thursday, July 8, from 10.30am to 12 noon.
It will be hosted by Michelle Charters, chief executive of Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre and Gloria Hyatt of Teach Consultancy. The hosts will also welcome Paul Sesay to tell his story and discuss the challenges black communities face when starting and growing a business.
Paul is the founder and chief executive of Inclusive Companies, the National Diversity Awards, the Inclusive Top 50 UK Employers List, Black Leaders and D&I recruitment company Precedent Group. His business acumen has mainly been with a social focus.
With more than 17 years’ worth of experience within the diversity, equality and inclusion sector, Paul has worked with some of the largest organisations in the world on their diversity and inclusion profiles.
Michelle Charters is also a trustee of National Museums Liverpool and is passionate about the promotion of diversity and equality for all. She has been active in the community sector for more than 40 years. She is the founding chair of Merseyside Black History Month Group and was the first black female trustee of Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Theatres.
Gloria Hyatt, who has an MBE, set up the country’s first independent school and academy, comprising multiple business structures, serving learners from black groups across the Liverpool city region.
The second online event, which is also free, takes place on Tuesday, July 20, from 11am to 12.30pm. Those attending will hear from Dr Yvonne Thompson. She is a campaigner and activist with more than 33 years’ experience in the communications, marketing and PR industry.
Dr Thompson advises corporates, public sector, educational establishments, and Government – championing equality, diversity and inclusivity in the workplace. She will be talking about her story, as well as looking at how people can grow their own business.
She has published her first leadership book, 7 Traits of Highly Successful Women on Boards, promoting the path to high levels of gender and race diversity in company boardrooms.