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Cameron in pledge to black entrepreneurs

2 min read

18 March 2010

Tory leader David Cameron has drawn up proposals for a national mentoring programme to help thousands of aspiring black business people get into business.

Speaking at an event in Peckham, in South London, Cameron laid out the Conservatives’ plan for getting black people into business.

“Enterprise is a powerful catalyst for social mobility,” he said. “But too many black people in Britain today are being denied the opportunity to start their own business and get on with life.”

Cameron’s main proposal is to fund a national mentoring programme for black people who want to start a business. “It will provide would-be black entrepreneurs with the targeted support, advice – and, crucially – role models they need to access finance and work for themselves,” he explained.

Cameron also highlighted some of the challenges faced by black business people:

  • Black entrepreneurs are four times more likely to be denied a bank loan outright than white entrepreneurs;
  • Nearly half (44 per cent) of entrepreneurs from black African backgrounds and more than a third (39 per cent) of those from black carribean backgrounds report that fear or rejection deterred them from a loan application. The figure for white entrepreneurs is one per cent; and
  • At the same time, more black people want to start a business than from any other ethnic group. Almost a third of black people in England want to start their own business, compared with just nine per cent of the white population. But only four per cent of black people do manage to launch a startup – a level lower than any other ethnic group.

“Too many people are denied the chance to escape poverty and build a better life for themselves and their family,” he wrote in the Guardian. “Sadly, this is especially true for people in Britain’s black community. I want to take down the barriers that prevent so many black people realising their potential.”

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