Project: Connecting BME Entrepreneurs to Social Investment
The project will deliver an action learning study that will explore the social investment support requirements of black, minority and ethnic (BME) VCSE groups. The intention is to recruit 20 BME social entrepreneurs with a range of experiences, where each participant will be interviewed (one-to-one and in focus groups) by the research team to establish their experience of social investment and associated support offers, the barriers they encountered and what may need to change in order for them to realise their objectives. During the initial phase of the project the research team will also map the availability and accessibility of specialist BME support services. Participants will then be supported through a range of ‘quick win’ developmental interventions, such as peer support, mentoring, shadowing, introductions to skill advisers and support with applications, each aimed at improving their investment readiness.
Intelligence will be fed into the newly-created Social Investment Intelligence Network (SIIN), which the Connect Fund also supports. A special Greater Manchester BME network event will be held to showcase the findings from the project. The project expects that BME VCSE organisations will be more aware of specialist support and social investment opportunities in Greater Manchester; that other under-represented groups interested in social investment and /or ethical trading will have a forum to raise access issues. The final report will provide the evidence necessary to attract social investment and will inform Greater Manchester’s Social Enterprise Strategy. It will also provide support bodies and social investors with a body of research to help them design products and services that address the needs of BME VCSE organisations.