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Remembering those who have made possible the dreams of today. Will never forget. Will never stop honoring their legacy.…
27 Feb 2017

BWMB 1996

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BWMB 1996

1996 Annual Convention

That year’s annual convention was held at the House of Commons. The appraisal of the events we had held so far revealed that people really appreciated the opportunity to meet in the unique venue. We were fortunate to obtain the sponsorship of a major American company Johnson Publishing Incorporated. The publish America’s biggest and longest established general interest magazine ‘’Ebony’’. They also flew over from the United States our special guest speaker, Barbara Smith, Vice President of Johnson Publishing. The other speakers included: business advisors, successful business owners and the journalist and newscaster Moira Stewart of BBC Television. The convention was attended by over 300.

Further Research

During the course of 1996, Diane Abbott’s team did further research into the needs and views of ethnic minority entrepreneurs. They discovered that one of the main issues for ethnic minority entrepreneurs, was access to finance. Many successful ethnic minority entrepreneurs had not been able to obtain bank finance originally. They had to rely on borrowing from Friends and family and money they had saved. They also found that when they approached the banks High Street business managers did not understand some of the niche markets that black entrepreneurs were involved in. In her work on the treasury select committee Diane had discovered that small business generally lamented the demise of the Branch bank manager who knew his clients and the local area. Too often decisions about lending were not being made at the High Street branch level but at regional centres according to scoring on a computer. Black entrepreneurs echoed the feeling of the wider business community. The emergence of specialist business managers during this period helped to alleviate this complaint.

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