Business: Ethnic Groups

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 12th March 2019.

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Photo of Theresa Villiers Theresa Villiers Conservative, Chipping Barnet

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to ensure the Industrial Strategy supports BAME-owned businesses.

Photo of Richard Harrington Richard Harrington Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

The Government is committed to supporting all entrepreneurs to start and grow a business and is a key aspect of our ambitious Industrial Strategy. The government supports diversity in business and recognises the valuable contribution of BAME communities to our economy.

British Business Bank programmes are also currently supporting over £5.9bn of finance to over 82,000 SMEs. The Start-Up Loans programme, now part of the British Business Bank, has delivered nearly 61,000 loans totalling over £464m, and was extended in the autumn budget to April 2021 to enable up to an additional 10,000 loans to be made to entrepreneurs. Of these 22% of loans were made to entrepreneurs with a BAME background (4% of existing SMEs have a BAME owner).

For the constituency of Chipping Barnett, 161 start-up loans have been delivered totalling an amount of £1,136, 870.

As a key part of the Industrial Strategy, Sector Deals are supporting business of all sizes across the economy and ensuring that businesses meet our wider goals to improve diversity and inclusion in our workforce. For example, the Offshore Wind Sector Deal commits the sector to calculating a baseline figure for BAME representation and to set a stretching target for improving this by the end of 2019.

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