Business management

How to better engage ethnic minority entrepreneurs

NatWest’s Banking on Racial Equality report found that low financial capability is a barrier that significantly affects ethnic minority communities.

As a basis for discussion, the forum took both the Banking on Racial Equality report and the Time to Change report from the Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME). 

The latter report recommended building long-lasting relationships in the community and investigating perceived versus actual barriers to enterprise and finance. 

The report found that digital technologies may have eased access to online information and support, but the lack of physical and personalised support services within local communities across the UK limits opportunities for establishing rapport and trust between EMBs and financial or support providers.

Insights from the forum

  • The group felt it’s important for banks to understand the cultural context of a business and acknowledge founders may not be able to do everything themselves. 
  • Financial service providers should therefore strive to work with EMB SMEs who can assist with cultural literacy.
  • Technical language and jargon were also considered a hindrance to running a business. Straightforward answers on topics like the cost of borrowing are needed.  
  • As financial literacy can be a blocker to starting a business, financial services providers should be clear about the support they offer.

Delivering the right message to the right people is important to us and this needs to be reflected in how we engage our communities.

Blessing Mutamba
NatWest Group Business Inclusion Manager

Presence in the community

Blessing Mutamba, NatWest Group Business Inclusion Manager, said: “Feedback and research tells us that going out into the community and being present there, is a positive experience for our communities, so we are working with customer-facing colleagues on how to do that.

“Having entrepreneurial advocates in the community means we are delivering the message through trusted members of networks so we can build those long-lasting relationships and provide sustainable support structures.

“We’re translating our Financial Capability materials into different languages based on regional demand. Delivering the right message to the right people is important to us and this needs to be reflected in how we engage our communities. 

“Above all, everything we are doing is to help our customers and communities thrive and we can’t do that without having the voices that matter around the table right from the very beginning. 

“This is why our forum is especially important as they represent a cross-section of industries, backgrounds and geographical locations so they give us actionable insight.”


The EMB founders on the forum are:  Nathaniel Wade, Wakuda. Azize Naji, Goggleminds.

Valentina Hynes, SVH Inc. Manisha Sahdev, iXL Tutors. David Gogo, Gogo Studio. 

Bidemi Alabi, Communicoms Media Group. Timi Merriman-Johnson, Mr MoneyJar.

Bayile Adeoti, Dechomai. Viana Maya, pRESPECT. Nemesha Bala, Educo London.

Zoila Garman, Zyger Fit. Kendia Christodoulou, Kendia Consulting.


If you are an EMB business owner and want to know more please email: poweringourcommunities@natwest.com

This material is published by NatWest Group plc (“NatWest Group”), for information purposes only and should not be regarded as providing any specific advice. Recipients should make their own independent evaluation of this information and no action should be taken, solely relying on it. This material should not be reproduced or disclosed without our consent. It is not intended for distribution in any jurisdiction in which this would be prohibited. Whilst this information is believed to be reliable, it has not been independently verified by NatWest Group and NatWest Group makes no representation or warranty (express or implied) of any kind, as regards the accuracy or completeness of this information, nor does it accept any responsibility or liability for any loss or damage arising in any way from any use made of or reliance placed on, this information. Unless otherwise stated, any views, forecasts, or estimates are solely those of NatWest Group, as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Copyright © NatWest Group. All rights reserved.

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