Bridging the diversity gap: How start-up loans help Havering residents

PUBLISHED: 17:00 09 January 2020

Jacqueline Hall benfitted off a government start-up scheme that has helped bridge the diversity gap in London entrepreneurs. Picture: MHP

Jacqueline Hall benfitted off a government start-up scheme that has helped bridge the diversity gap in London entrepreneurs. Picture: MHP


A Rainham entrepreneur tells the Recorder how she benefitted from a London-wide start-up scheme, which has awarded nearly half of its loans to Londoners of an ethnic minority.

Having been made redundant and then turned down from various job interviews, Jacqueline Hall decided to switch careers and pursue her dream of becoming a life coach.

Inspired by her love of people and listening to their problems, she used a £2,500 start up loan from a British Business Bank programme, a government-owned development bank, to launch Dale Coaching, her own online career and development mentoring company.

The business has since transformed to include family business leadership team facilitation and a consortium with other female entrepreneurs that hosts workshops and learning sets and encourages women into science-related careers.

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She said: "After the employment struggles I faced I never thought I'd have been able to launch my own business but my story shows that if you believe in your idea and have the tenacity and determination to succeed, then anything is possible."

Latest data from the start-up programme shows that it has issued 7,366 loans to start-up owners in London from ethnic minority backgrounds, amounting to more than £50 million in funding. This represents almost half of all start up loans in London.

While two in five of Londoners identified as being of an ethnic minority in the last census, almost half (48%) of all 15,423 start up loans issued in the capital since 2012 went to people of an ethnic minority.

Piers Linney, of the British Business Bank said: "Businesses led by people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds make a huge contribution to London's economy, so it's great to see the start-up loans programme is making a real difference in supporting them to access the finance they need.

"When you look at the current makeup of UK business ownership, it's clear there's more that can be done to reflect the diversity of our society.

"We'd like to see more businesses being started by BAME entrepreneurs across the country but are proud that the programme is playing its part in supporting ethnic minority businesses at a national level and giving them the support they need to start and grow."

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