National Work

Ethnic Minority Advisory Group

The Ethnic Minority Advisory Group (EMAG) was set up in 2006 as a reorganised and re-branded version of the Ethnic Minority Stakeholder Group and the then National Employment Panel's Minority Ethnic Group (MEG). The Stakeholder Group had been formed to fulfil the 2003 Strategy Unit Report recommendation that the ethnic minority voluntary sector be represented on the Ethnic Minority Employment Task Force.

Since the change of government in May 2010, it has been decided to retain EMAG to have access to a cross Ministerial Group. EMAGs’ key role is to provide practical advice to the government to reduce the percentage rate gap for ethnic minority employment compared with the general working age population. As a result of the Ending Ethnic Economic Inequality Work in the East of England, Terry Harding has been appointed to the EMAG.

EMAG has established four Task and Finish Groups to work on priority issues as follows:

  • Education/Skills
  • Women
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Procurement

The Groups will initially report in October 2010.

Ethnic Minority Business Task Force

The Ethnic Minority Business Task Force was set up in 2007 with support from the government to help stimulate growth among the Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) business base in England. The Task Force submitted its recommendations to government in the summer of 2009 and the government response was published in November 2009.

Since the election of the coalition government it is not clear whether the recommendations from the Task Force will be pursued. However, one recommendation has been followed up by the Regional Development Agencies – the Ethnic Minority Business Advocacy Network (EMBAN).

Ethnic Minority Business Advocacy Network (EMBAN)

EMBAN has three main objectives

  • Firstly, it will promote and raise the profile of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) entrepreneurs, by identifying strong role models and establishing a national voice for BME businesses.
  • Secondly, it will share best practice both in the UK and overseas and will bring together partners and highlight opportunities for joint working, and
  • Thirdly, it will work to influence future government policy making by building up the evidence base on the economic contribution of BME businesses.

EMBAN can be accessed through the East Midlands Development Agency.

Cornelius Muyunda, Manager of EMBAN, attended the Enterprise Sub-Group held on 3rd August and as a result MENTER is now working with EMBAN. Proposals are currently being considered for a series of briefings for the new Local Enterprise Partnerships in the East of England when established.

Following the Coalition Government’s emergency budget, which confirmed that RDAs are to close by March 2012, EMBAN would like to ensure that publicly funded business support continues to be accessible to BME would-be and existing entrepreneurs. This is especially crucial as some of the likely LEP partners favoured by the Coalition are those that recent research indicates are least likely to be effective in considering the needs of, or delivering to, BME communities.

There are a number of compelling reasons why national and sub-national policy makers should actively support BAME business growth. The huge wealth generating potential of existing BAME businesses and crucially those that are likely to start up in the next decade as a result of demographic trends is a key driver. There is also a growing presence of BAME businesses in high value sectors across the UK including finance, IT and parts of the creative industries. In addition, in an increasingly globalised economy the links which a successful BAME business base can forge with areas such as India and China will have wider benefits for national and regional economic performance.

We also know, however, that there are long-standing barriers to growth that are faced by BAME businesses. Unless these barriers are addressed through national, sub-national and local policy measures then the potential of this sector will not be realised.

It is proposed that MENTER will coordinate the delivery of the briefings in the East of England.

Race for Opportunity

Race for Opportunity (RFO) is committed to improving employment opportunities for ethnic minorities across the UK.  It is the only race diversity campaign that has access to and influence over the leaders of the UK’s best known organisations. MENTER has established good links with RfO, Sandra Kerr, Chief Executive, was a keynote speaker at the March 2010 conference and future collaborative working is planned.

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