Female Founders Involved in one of the UK’s First BAME Incubator Programmes Set to Pitch their Businesses
Female founders involved in one of the UK’s first BAME incubator programmes set to pitch their businesses
Twenty fearless female founders of colour are on the path to launching their own businesses following a chance to develop their ideas through a trailblazing South London incubator programme.
Launched by Hatch enterprise in mid-October with the financial support of NatWest and eBay, the Female Founders Accelerator programme is one of the UK’s only small business support networks for BAME women (women in the UK who have non-white backgrounds including black, Asian or minority ethnic).
Twenty BAME female entrepreneurs participating in the programme have been selected from a variety of industries and backgrounds. They are working intensively on their businesses at Google’s dedicated learning space, Academy London. – a dedicated learning hub near Victoria station in central London, and with further backing from Google for Startups.
Hatch Enterprise is an award-winning incubator working primarily with under-represented groups of entrepreneurs.
For a number of years, it has supported ambitious female founders through a new style of programme that super-charges their businesses. Its newest programme, the Female Founders Accelerator, is based on insight gained by working with and listening to more than 100 female founders.
Research shows women-led businesses consistently outperform those led by men: the Untapped Unicorns report notes 34% of male entrepreneurs have seen a business fail compared with 23% of female founders, and women entrepreneurs bring in 20% more revenue with 50% less money invested. Although, only 20% of the SMEs in the UK are led by women and 6.2% of the SMEs in the UK are BAME led.
Hatch’s Female Founders Accelerator is committed to tackling a lack of diversity within the community of successful female founders.
The programme provides five months of intensive support including two months of workshops focussing on business growth (e.g. business modelling, marketing, financial management, public relations and more), business coaching and dedicated networking sessions; followed by three months of expert mentoring for each individual.
Hatch Enterprise Programme Manager, Bayo Adelaja, said: “Without support, nine out of 10 entrepreneurs will fail over any given three-year time period. For the BAME community, 19 out of 20 female founders will fail over the same time period. With our Female Founders (BAME) Accelerator, we want to reduce failure rates by 70%, enabling at least 14 of the 20 female founders to build a sustainable business that survives beyond its third birthday.”
This is an exciting initiative in the landscape of entrepreneurship in the UK, giving BAME female founders an opportunity to succeed, scale up and thrive.
NatWest Managing Director of Personal Banking in London, Rachel Blackamore, said: “As the UK’s biggest and best bank for business – we help businesses to trade safely and securely in an uncertain world. Starting and sustaining a business can be daunting, so the business-oriented projects that we fund through the Skills & Opportunities Fund focus on building the skills, experience and resilience necessary to succeed in business in the long-term.
“It’s through initiatives like the Female Founders BAME Accelerator that we are able to support people who might not have accessed business training independently, encouraging the different ideas and ways of thinking that are essential to the sustainable economic and social development of a thriving and diverse society.”
“The feedback we receive from previous winners really brings home the impact of the Fund both on individuals and the wider community…”
Academy London site lead, Olive Turon, said: “It's an honour for Academy London to partner with London for Startups and Hatch Enterprise, by acting as the official learning hub for the BAME, Female Founders Incubator programme in London. We're delighted to extend Google’s dedicated learning space to this cohort of inspirational women as they hone the skills, tools and resources necessary to see their businesses grow.”
Notes to editor
To interview any of the 20 women on the program, Bayo Adelaja, or for more information, please contact:
About Hatch Enterprise UK
Since 2013, Hatch has pioneered a unique approach to community enterprise incubation and entrepreneurship support activities across South London, and it is one of the UK’s leading community enterprise charities tackling social inequality.
In the past four years, Hatch has engaged over 12,000 people in its work, over 5000 of whom have been involved in the social enterprise business development programming. The businesses that have taken part in its incubators and accelerators over the years have a combined turnover of £4,950,000 and have raised a total of £3,920,000 in investment funding while working with and hiring 300 people in their local communities.
About the NatWest Skills & Opportunities Fund:
NatWest wants to build better communities for everyone, and to help achieve this aim, it distributes £2.5m in funding annually to community organisations through the NatWest Skills & Opportunities Fund in England and Wales, and elsewhere through the Royal Bank of Scotland group.
The NatWest Skills & Opportunities Fund is aimed at not-for-profit organisations including charities, community groups, social enterprises and state-funded schools and colleges with existing or planned projects focused on financial capability and enterprise. Since its launch, the fund has benefitted more than 68,700 people in England and Wales; including helping to create more than 1,200 jobs and over 820 new businesses, as well as supporting people to achieve over 8,940 qualifications.
About Academy London
Academy London is Google’s home for customer education and digital transformation. It’s a physical space dedicated to inspiring organisations as they navigate a world where digital transformation is the new normal, and faster learning is imperative.