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Press Release

‘The Launchpad’ at Birmingham Black Business Show Connects Black Founders with Investors, in Partnership with Lloyds Bank

Investors, lenders and growth experts will hear the best pitches at the Midlands show offering finalists prizes including a free exhibition stand to next year’s show, a trophy and on-going business support

On 18th June at the NEC Birmingham, the Birmingham Black Business Show will give Black founders the opportunity to pitch to a panel of judges to secure support and accelerate their businesses.

In partnership with Lloyds Bank, The Launchpad will showcase startups and entrepreneurs that are mission-driven and have the potential for significant impact. The event will allow founders to pitch to experts equipped with the tools, advice and funds that can help transform, scale and build success.

In the UK, startup founders do not have equal access to funding or the right business networks. In 2020, less than 0.25% of venture capital (VC) funding went to Black-led startups and only 38 Black founders received venture capital funding in the last 10 years.

Michael Adeniya, COO of UK Black Business Show said, “Black-owned businesses are the most under-estimated in today’s economy. Our vision is that The Launchpad at the Birmingham Black Business Show will help transform the narrative by shining a spotlight on high impact businesses but also equip the founders with the funding, tools and networks to grow.”

Funding is only part of the challenge. Successfully launching a business requires the right support structure in terms of strategy, marketing and access, these have also proven to be barriers to the success of Black entrepreneurs. The Launchpad program will consist of a series of five-minute presentations on the main stage at Birmingham Black Business Show in front of a live audience. The expert judges on the day will be Amanda Dorel from Lloyds Bank, Kunle Campbell (Octillion Capital Partners), Kevin Withane (DiversityX) and Shaun Sookoo (Winne’s Kitchen). The winning pitch will receive coaching, business support, a free exhibition stand for next year’s show, a trophy and other in-kind benefits.

Amanda Dorel at Lloyds Bank said, “We’re committed to creating a fully inclusive environment for all our colleagues, customers, and communities, one that is truly representative of modern-day Britain and the society we’re serving.

We are also committed to lead by example, be an active ally for Black entrepreneurs, and ensure we are using our voice to influence. To that effect, we are working to understand and help remove the barriers faced by Black entrepreneurs through a range of initiatives such as our Black Business Hub, Black Business Support Guide and our Immerse Programme in partnership with Foundervine.

Birmingham is a key region for us to focus this support for Black entrepreneurship given it has the highest Black population in the UK outside London. We know we have much to do to create a fully inclusive environment and are very excited to be sponsoring the Launchpad here.”

Applications Open

Any majority Black-owned business can apply by completing the form below and then registering for the Birmingham Black Business Show. Selected companies will also receive a free coaching session to sharpen their pitch before the event. The deadline for entries is 10th June. Click here to apply.

Important info

  1. It’s free to pitch provided you’ve registered to attend the event. Applications to pitch can be submitted here
  2. Submissions may be entered by individuals or teams
  3. Applicant must be able to attend the pitch event in person at the Birmingham Black Business Show, 18th June at the National Exhibition Centre Birmingham

Media Contacts
Laura Bazile – Marketing and Communications
UK Black Business Show