Last edited 25 Oct 2021

Ethnic minority owned businesses EMBs


[edit] Introduction

Businesses are generally considered to be ethnic minority owned (or ethnic minority lead) if 50% or more of their management team are from ethnic minorities or if a person from an ethnic minority is in sole control of the business. Other terms sometimes used instead of ethnic minority include minority ethnic, minoritised ethnic and racially minoritised.

NB EMBs are different from minority owned businesses, which is a corporate term that is typically used to describe a company where some shareholders own fewer shares than the controlling shareholder.

[edit] Benchmarks for EMBs

In July 2020 the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) published a report focusing on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) businesses. Unlocking Opportunity: The value of ethnic minority firms to UK economic activity and enterprise, which reported that EMBs were found to be more innovative than non-ethnic minority firms, with 30% of EMBs engaging in recent product or service innovation. This was 11 percentage points higher than their non-EMB counterparts. Innovation did not keep them from struggling disproportionately when it came to accessing finance, as they were often detached from mainstream business support.

Regarding construction, the report found that EMB employers in the sector were uncommon. However, the report did note an increase in ethnic minority entrepreneurs within the construction sector, despite the findings that the tradition associated with ethnic minority communities in other sectors may be on the decline.

[edit] Ethnicity or race?

While the Equality Act 2010 suggests that race includes ethnic or national origins, A guide to race and ethnicity terminology and language provides further insight.

Published by The Law Society in December 2020, the guide suggests ethnicity: ‘is broader than race and has usually been used to refer to long shared cultural experiences, religious practices, traditions, ancestry, language, dialect or national origins (for example, African-Caribbean, Indian, Irish). Ethnicity can be seen as a more positive identity than one forged from the shared negative experiences of racism. It's more commonly used and asked about within diversity questionnaires in the UK.’

[edit] Ethnic groups in the UK

According to the English Housing Survey, Energy efficiency, 2018-19, published in July 2020 by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, ethnicity is a: ‘Classification according to respondents’ own perceived ethnic group.’

Historically, the Government has used 18 separate groups in England and Wales to determine ethnicity. These were combined into five larger ethnic groups for the purposes of the 2011 Census of England and Wales.

Guidance offered in the Government's resource, Writing about ethnicity, explains that ethnic minorities in the UK refer to all ethnic groups except the White British group. Ethnic minorities include White minorities such as Gypsy, Roma and Irish Traveller groups.

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[edit] External resources

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