Ethnic minority led businesses contribute £74bn to UK economy, report shows

Written by Leah Mahon

Published on 10th February 2021

Smiling female and male entrepreneurs sitting in conference room during business meeting at workplace

BUSINESSES RUN by black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) entrepreneurs annually contribute at least £74bn to the UK economy, according to a new report.

It claims that black and minority ethnic businesses make up a sixth of the six million businesses registered in the UK and employed nearly three million people between 2019 and 2020.

They also account for eight of the UK’s 23 tech unicorns.

The report, published today is by OPEN, a London-based think tank that focuses on migration and diversity issues.

It provides insight into the positive contributions made by minority led businesses.

It also highlights the challenges they face.

Motivation to be successful and perseverance in overcoming challenges were noted as strengths of these businesses.

Their industry contacts were also deemed as strong points.

However, black and minority ethnic companies encounter systemic racism. Therefore, better anti-racism training is required, and discrimination in recruitment processes must be addressed.

The report also recommends that schools and universities equip young people from ethnic minority backgrounds with the self confidence and skills to be successful.

Philippe Legrain, Founder and Director of OPEN said: “Against the odds, minority businesses make a huge contribution to the UK, providing valuable products and services, creating good jobs and boosting national wealth.

“They are helping to tackle the coronavirus crisis and can help build a fairer, more innovative and more environmentally sustainable Britain in its aftermath. So addressing the challenges that still hold minority businesses back is both an economic and an ethical priority.”

OPEN’S Senior Researcher, Martyn Fitzgerald, also acknowledged the findings in the report, describing their success as inspirational.

He said: “The paths of these minority entrepreneurs are as varied as the companies they founded, and all are testament to the social and economic enrichment that their businesses have brought to our country.

“My research for this report revealed to me just how many minority businesses there are and the enormous contribution they make. We would be far less without them.”

It is important to note that because Companies House does not collect data on the ethnicity of corporate officers, the report’s estimates of minority businesses’ numbers, employees and gross value added were derived using artificial intelligence tools to predict owners’ ethnicity on the basis of their name – performed by Gyana, a minority data-science company.

The technology was cross checked by experts at OPEN.



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