Leader Views


Posted on:
28th June, 2021

Engaging BAME businesses is an opportunity not a challenge

In a piece originally written for the All Party Parliamentary Group for BAME business owners, Enterprise M3 LEP Board Director, Stacey King, underlines how diversity, in all its forms, increases innovation, creativity of thought and better outcomes for all communities.

Engaging BAME businesses is an opportunity not a challenge

"I am a dedicated supporter of the private sector, devoted to the success of business, and that is why I am also a LEP Board Director.

LEPs recognise that private enterprises are a powerful force for good, especially when they come together with partners across their local economies. Facilitating these partnerships and injecting the business perspective is where LEPs absolutely excel.

There are more than fourteen hundred senior business leaders on LEP Boards and their expert groups. They include senior people from Siemens, Jaguar, VW, and BAE Systems, all adding invaluable business and private sector insights.

LEPs also represent thousands of SMEs, whose agility, innovative and entrepreneurial focus lies at the heart of British business.

A lasting competitive edge of UK business can only be achieved if we accelerate innovation and our entrepreneurial drive. We know that diversity in all its forms increases innovation, creativity of thought and better outcomes.

LEPs have made great strides towards diversity with a quarter of Board Chairs women, 40% female representation across LEP boards, and a healthy mix of public and private sector and third sector partners.

Yet can we truly say LEPs mirror the diversity within the regions they represent? Do I see people that look like me and can relate to my journey and experiences?

LEPs are determined to work harder to attract minority businesses, to cater for their needs and be more representative.

We know our entrepreneurs and workforce of the future will not care for CSR targets and lip service. They are looking for real change and leaders that embody that change in their everyday interactions.

LEPs are starting to take small steps to bring that about and are beginning to see the truth: ethnic diversity is an opportunity not a challenge."


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