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MSDUK Launches Accelerator Programme For Third Year, Continuing Their Support of Ethnic Minority-Owned Businesses in the UK by Forging Connections with global companies

MSDUK, an organisation that champions the inclusion of ethnic minority businesses (EMBs) and founders in corporate supply chains, has partnered with Unilever, WPP, Google and Dow to launch the UK’s first accelerator programme focused on helping 300 EMBs to become supply chain ready.

Research shows that ethnic minority start-ups face a number of challenges to succeed and build sustainable businesses including a lack of early-stage investment, VC funding and access to social capital and mentors. These businesses are also under-represented in both public and private sector supply chains.

From today until 8th August 2022, ethnic minority founders from across the UK with an innovative product or service can apply to join the -free three-month programme. With the third cohort of 20 ventures starting in October 2022, the initiative will provide a platform for ethnic minority founders to gain access to the expertise of MSDUK and its corporate partners via one-to-one corporate mentoring sessions, attend group workshops, and have access to bespoke support packages and more.

The programme has been created with experiential learning at its core and by experts in corporate procurement and entrepreneurs with lived-and-learned experience. The EMBs will have the opportunity to stress-test their business models to align with corporate needs and successful partnerships could result from MSDUK’s wider corporate network.

Backed by Unilever, WPP, Dow and Google, this accelerator demonstrates the commitment of these companies to supplier diversity and investing in the development of ethnic minority businesses that may become their supplier partners in the future.

Alexandra Tarmo, Head of Partnerships and Social Procurement at Unilever said, “I am very proud to once again lead this initiative at Unilever, now in its third year. It forms part of our Supplier Development Programme, which aims to provide access to skills and networking opportunities to under-represented racial and ethnic groups. This is in alignment with our commitment to spend €2 billion of our annual supplier spend with diverse suppliers by 2025.

Decisive and collective actions are needed to build a society that helps to improve livelihoods, embrace diversity, nurture talent, and offer opportunities for everyone. Collaborating with partners, such as MSDUK, WPP, Dow and Google, is a fantastic opportunity and absolutely aligned with our Partner With Purpose Programme to help to make a difference.”

Mayank Shah, Founder and CEO at MSDUK concluded, “Now in it’s second year, our world-class acceleration programme is about empowering ethnic minority founders across the UK and creating an entrepreneurship and corporate ecosystem of equity and opportunity. With nearly one million businesses in the UK that are minority led, there is a huge untapped entrepreneurial talent that can be nurtured and supported. MSDUK is proud to work in partnership with Unilever, WPP, Google and Dow to empower EMBs and build supply chains of the future that is diverse and inclusive.”