A new investment initiative has been launched by ACE Entrepreneurs to support and fund early-stage black-owned businesses. The ACE Entrepreneurs Investment Program has been launched to tackle a funding gap for black-owned businesses. The program is led by businesswoman and entrepreneur Nadine Campbell, Founder of ACE Entrepreneurs, a community for diverse entrepreneurs and Kevin Edwards, who is the ACE Entrepreneurs Investment Partner and BTIG Managing Director – European Credit Sales & Trading.
As well as raising funds, it will also create business plans, revenue and expenditure workbooks and bespoke business reviews for all applicants, on how to improve their business plans which can be then used to look for other funding. All of which are crucial to long term business progress.
The success rate for starting up a business for Black entrepreneurs is in line with the UK average. However, entrepreneurs from ethnic backgrounds have significantly lower success rates in the long term. Research has shown key differences in performance are in access to finance, social capital, household income. There is also an under-representation of certain ethnic groups among leadership teams in the workplace, which reduces the opportunity to develop business-relevant skills, knowledge and networks. Of all groups, diverse female entrepreneurs have the biggest disadvantages across all areas.*
As a result, more black founders are forced to self-fund to an average of £14k compared to the £9,500 from the UK average entrepreneur. These statistics suggest there is a lack of equal funding opportunities available. At least 78% of black entrepreneurs had no formal funding at all and only 14% received startup loans, guaranteed by the government.**
ACE already provides a significant free business knowledge learning base for entrepreneurs on their platform and the next step is this new investment program.
Campbell said: “We have launched this initiative to increase investment opportunities for small businesses by creating our first micro funding program for the diverse community. Kevin and I have significant experience in the business and investment sector to help scale promising businesses and disrupt the lack of funding and support for this demographic. Despite the diverse community being one of the hardest hit during the pandemic, thousands of businesses were opened and are trading. What they lack is the ability to scale, which is where ACE entrepreneurs can offer business-changing funding and support”.
She continues: “The public conversation about supporting diverse led businesses is gaining momentum, what we need now is tangible solutions that can effect real change for the mass market. The doors are opening for very unique entrepreneurs who can quickly go to Series-A funding or join up-market incubators. However, there are thousands of other, extremely promising small businesses that do not qualify across a range of sectors. We are specifically looking to support these high potential entrepreneurs who need funding or business support to scale.”