Black businesses celebrated by Metro Mayor

To celebrate Black History Month, Metro Mayor Dan Norris will meet some of Bristol’s Black and minority-led companies to discuss the history of Black businesses and entrepreneurs, and their contribution to the West of England’s prosperity, past, present and future this Wednesday at 1.15pm (Newlands Lane, Bristol BS16 7PT).

The Metro Mayor will be given a tour of Black South West Network’s 12,000 square metre Coach House which is due to be refurbished over the next few years, including £97,000 of funding from the Combined Authority.

The historic building, at the heart of Bristol’s African Heritage community, will become the region’s first Regional Centre for Black Enterprise and Culture offering training and mentoring to 250 minority organisations a year to start up, scale up and create high-quality jobs in the community.

Sado Jirde, Black South West Network’s director, will then host a roundtable discussing how black-owned firms can get access to finance and participants will tell the mayor what training they think could help more businesses to thrive.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “The West of England is an amazing place to grow up and grow old in, but there are deep-rooted structural inequalities that exist in society that we need to address together. Black-owned businesses are an essential part of the cultural and economic fabric of our brilliant region, and under my leadership, the West of England Combined Authority is committed to backing our brilliant Black and minority-led companies and ensuring our region is one that, no matter your background, everyone can get on”.

Black South West provides a range of programmes and activities supporting the region’s black and minority organisations and communities, including their UK-leading green skills programme which has supported 94 young people through green skills training, work placements since last year.

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