Accelerator programme to help UK's ethnic minority-owned businesses build global connections

  • A new accelerator programme has launched to help 300 ethnic minority businesses (EMBs) in the UK become supply chain ready.

    MSDUK, an organisation that promotes the inclusion of EMBs and founders in corporate supply chains, has partnered with Unilever, WPP, Google and Dow to launch the free programme.

    Ethnic minority founders with an innovative product or service from across the UK have until 30 August to apply for the four-month programme.

    With the first cohort of 40 ventures starting in October 2021, the initiative will provide a platform for successful applicants to gain access to expert one-to-one mentoring sessions, attend group workshops, and receive bespoke support packages.

    The EMBs will have the opportunity to stress-test their business models to align with corporate needs and successful partnerships could result from MSDUK’s wider corporate network.

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    Those applying must be able to prove that their business proposition supports one of the accelerator’s value pillars which align with several UN’s Sustainable Development Goals:

    · Propelling better societies
    · Amplifying sustainable solutions
    · Building cities of the future
    · Empowering with creative and digital

    Alexandra Tarmo, Head of Partnerships and Social Procurement at Unilever said, “I am very proud to lead this initiative at Unilever, which is part of our new Supplier Development Programme, aiming to provide access to skills and networking opportunities to under-represented racial and ethnic groups.

    "This is in alignment with our commitment to spend €2bn of our annual supplier spend with diverse suppliers by 2025.

    "Decisive and collective actions are needed to build a society that helps to improve livelihoods, embrace diversity, nurture talent, and offer opportunities for everyone. Collaborating with partners, such as MSDUK, WPP, Dow and Google, is a fantastic opportunity and absolutely aligned with our Partner With Purpose Programme to help to make a difference.”

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    Mayank Shah, Founder and CEO at MSDUK concluded, “For us, it is more than just creating a world-class acceleration programme. It is about empowering ethnic minority founders across the UK and creating an entrepreneurship and corporate ecosystem of equity and opportunity.

    "With nearly one million businesses in the UK that are minority led, there is a huge untapped entrepreneurial talent that can be nurtured and supported. 

    Apply now via the MSDUK website here. The deadline to submit applications is on 30 August 2021.

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