News / Black South West Network

Backing black and Asian women in business

By ellie pipe, Monday Jul 6, 2020

Support for entrepreneurial black women is critical if we are to carve out a meaningful economic recovery, says the director of Black South West Network (BSWN).

The organisation is partnering with NatWest’s Back Her Business initiative to launch a new, accessible startup programme that will adopt a multi-format approach to address key obstacles facing black and Asian female business owners in the wake of coronavirus.

By providing critical support, BSWN aims to not only help the first cohort in survive the financial, structural, and personal strains of the pandemic, but also to tap into their full potential to thrive.

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The programme will be delivered through a series of workshops, salons, and one-to-one mentoring, and participants will have access to a range of tools and resources covering business administration, planning, finances, branding, self-care, and more.

Black South West Network is partnering with NatWest to launch the Back Her Business programme to support black and Asian entrepreneurial women –  photo by Manoel Akure of Blouhaus Photography

Sado Jirde, director of BSWN said: “The impact of Covid-19 on businesses generally is well documented but the contributions of entrepreneurial black women across a range of sectors always seems to get forgotten.

“Black South West Network acknowledges the enormous contribution black women have made by undertaking crucial roles in our society and the tremendous value they bring to the economy, prior to and during the pandemic. It is time to see black women as community wealth creators, high achievers and entrepreneurs.

“It’s time to provide support more actively than ever in carving out a meaningful recovery. Time to involve the underserved and underestimated to achieve a different kind of growth – towards the kind of ethical and progressive society we crave.

“We are really pleased to work with the positive leadership at NatWest Bank to deliver this programme – The 2020 Black Women’s Back Her Business Programme – it is the beginning of something special.”

A webinar will take place on Monday, July 20 at 5pm to launch the programme, where an expert panel will discuss and host a Q&A focused on the topic of ‘pivoting and growing your business through a crisis’.

Matt Hatcher, NatWest’s director of commercial banking for the West of England, said: “This is such an important cause for us where we want to drive real, long-lasting change.That’s why we are delighted to be partnering with the Black South West Network.

“The wealth of talent amongst the South West’s BAME women is incredibly inspiring, but we need to be doing more to provide the opportunities and support these women to turn their talent into success. We shouldn’t see another decade go by where the amazing abilities and innovation of these women is wasted. In working with Black South West Network we hope to provide the support and opportunities needed to create a new generation of BAME women entrepreneurs who inspire their peers to follow in their success.

Potential attendees can apply with rolling admission through to July 24 2020. The programme will officially launch on August 3 2020

More information on the programme and how to sign up is available via

Tickets for the launch webinar are available via

Main photo by Manoel Akure of Blouhaus Photography

Read more: Pandemic is exacerbating economic structural inequality

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