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Webinar: Barriers to economic success: what is needed to overcome?


Part of the ‘BEO Listening’ Series – this webinar will hear from community leaders, business owners, start-ups and entrepreneurs who have experienced challenges to accessing finances to start and grow their businesses.

Research from Extend Ventures showed that 0.24% of VC funding between 2009-2019 went to Black entrepreneurs and even more shockingly, 0.02% went to Black female entrepreneurs. The British Business Bank has also conducted research that showed that:

  • Black entrepreneurs report lower turnover and profit than White entrepreneurs, and many fewer meet their business aspirations.
  • Black female business owners and female business owners experience the lowest levels of business success.

The research also suggested that entrepreneurs with an ethnic minority background typically have higher educational achievements than their white British counterparts and invest more time and money into developing their business. A Black individual starting their entrepreneurial career is not doing so on a level playing field.

So why do Black British entrepreneurs continue to be disadvantaged compared to their white counterparts? How can we improve finance opportunities for Black entrepreneurs? There is no single answer or solution that can explain the disparity or reduce the gaps, but what are the solutions?

This session with Dame Vivian Hunt and Ric Lewis, trustees of the Black Equity Organisation, will explore some of these issues and provide you with the space to talk about your experiences in starting, developing and growing your business and how you have overcome barriers.


This webinar is open to all. Come along if you are interested to hear what others are doing to break down barriers.



This is a discussion with Marcus Ryder MBE, Dame Vivian Hunt, Ric Lewis and Community Leaders

Marcus Ryder MBE, is the co-founder of the Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity which was set up to explore and increase diversity across the media industry, including journalism, acting, film, TV and radio. He has over 25 years working in the media across the world, including eight years as a senior executive at the BBC, winning numerous industry awards – from BAFTAs to Royal Television Society Awards and Foreign Press Association Awards. He is also the Chair of Council for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.

Dame Vivian Yvonne Hunt DBE, BEO Chair, is a senior partner for the consulting firm McKinsey & Company in the United Kingdom and Ireland and Chair of the charity Teach First. An alumna of Harvard College and Harvard Business School, Dame Vivian has been named as one of the ten most influential Black people in Britain by the Powerlist Foundation and one of the thirty most influential people in the City of London by The Financial Times.

Ric Lewis BEO Trustee, a British businessman and founding partner of Tristan Capital Partners, a British property investment firm, and its predecessor, Curzon Global Partners (1998–2008). He is also the founder and chairman of a registered charity, the Black Heart Foundation, dedicated to supporting initiatives that improve educational benefits for under-resourced young people. He is also Chair of Impact X which funds Black, Asian and ethnic minority entrepreneurs in the UK and Europe.

Ric ranked 1st in the Powerlist 2019, an annual list of the UK’s most influential people with African or Afro-Caribbean heritage and was ranked second in the Powerlist 2018 and 2017 as well as 10th PERE Global Awards, Industry Figure of the Year: Europe.