Updated: Jul 21, 2021
LEPs Engagement with BAME Businesses is an Opportunity Not a Challenge
Stacey King is a dedicated supporter of the private sector and devoted to the success of business. She explains that this is why she is a Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)
Non Executive Director for the Private Sector for the EM3 LEP based in West Surrey and Hampshire.
LEPs are determined to work harder to attract minority businesses, to cater for their needs and be more representative. We know entrepreneurs and the workforce of the future will not care for lip service and nominal CSR targets. They are looking for real change and leaders that embody that change in their everyday interactions.
LEPs are local public/private sector partnerships and a national network of 38 Growth Hubs
that provide business support. They also collaborate with key stakeholders to deliver increased productivity and prosperity at local and regional levels and are proactive supporters of innovation and economic development
Representative LEP Boards
LEPs have made great strides towards diversity with a quarter of Board Chairs women, 40% female representation across LEP boards, and a healthy mix of public and private sector and third sector partners. Yet can we truly say LEPs mirror the diversity within the regions they represent? Do I see people that look like me and can relate to my journey and experiences?
A Competitive Advantage from Diversity
LEPs recognise that private enterprises are a powerful force for good, especially when they come together with partners across their local economies. Facilitating these partnerships and injecting the business perspective is where LEPs absolutely excel.
There are more than fourteen hundred senior business leaders on LEP Boards and their expert groups. They include senior people from Siemens, Jaguar/VW, and BAE Systems, all adding invaluable business and private sector insights. LEPs also represent thousands of SMEs, whose agility, innovative and entrepreneurial focus lies at the heart of British business.
A lasting competitive edge of UK business can only be achieved if we accelerate innovation and our entrepreneurial drive. We know that diversity in all its forms increases innovation, creativity of thought and better outcomes.
LEPs are starting to take small steps to bring that about and are beginning to see the truth: ethnic diversity is an opportunity not a challenge.
More information about LEPs can be found at the LEP Network