Radiant & Brighter, the Community Interest Company which creates greater opportunities for BME (black and minority ethnic) communities to more fully contribute to the Scottish economy, is organising Scotland’s first Bright Futures Women’s Leadership and Enterprise Conference tomorrow (Thursday 27 September).

Supported by Royal Bank of Scotland and Women’s Enterprise Scotland, the conference will bring together women from BME communities throughout Scotland to celebrate diversity as a key driver of innovation and economic growth. Designed to stimulate thought leadership, new business ideas and collaborations, the event will also include a play performed by the Bright Futures Scotland women depicting their real life stories and experiences and a showcase of businesses run by women from across the country.

The keynote speaker at the event is Aileen Campbell, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government.

Research by the University of Strathclyde has found ethnic minority entrepreneurs in Scotland need more engagement and support from the government and key industry partners to start and grow successful businesses. According to the analysis, 44% of ethnic minorities in Scotland have a family business background and 12% of ethnic minority adults intend to start a business in the next three years. The minority ethnic population is 8% of Scotland’s total population.

Pheona Matovu, co-founder of Radiant and Brighter said; “We are delighted to be working with Royal Bank of Scotland and Women’s Enterprise Scotland to deliver our first Bright Futures Conference. In just 7 months, our Bright Futures Women’s Leadership and Enterprise programme has brought together over 90 BME women into a shared learning

space, where they have been able to develop ideas into businesses, author books and acquire jobs. The Conference is the natural next step, showcasing how the minority ethnic population has a crucial role to play in Scotland’s growing entrepreneurial base.”

Carolyn Currie, CEO of Women’s Enterprise Scotland said; “Research consistently shows that diversity drives innovation, which in turn drives economic growth. It is a privilege to be working with Radiant and Brighter and Royal Bank of Scotland to explore new ideas, thought leadership and exciting new business ideas which undoubtably will benefit Scotland’s economy.”

Yvonne Greeves, head of Women in Business for Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “Royal Bank of Scotland feels privileged to host Scotland’s first Bright Futures Conference here at Gogarburn.

“This event is a huge opportunity to bring together key voices across the country’s business, political and research bases and offer insight into the real life experience and challenges black and ethnic minority female entrepreneurs face in Scotland. It is opportunities like these that can help us more fully understand the challenges that entrepreneurs face and what can be done to help remove those barriers to help enterprise grow.”

#BME #leadership #diversity

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