As identified by the 6-month research project conducted by BSWN in Summer 2018, one of the key challenges for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) entrepreneurs in the Inner City of Bristol is their lack of access to finance and financial infrastructures.
With the intent of tackling this barrier, BSWN is in conversation with Jules Peck, co-founder of Avon Mutual , to discuss the opportunity for locating one of Avon Mutual new branches in East Bristol or potentially within the Enterprise Hub that BSWN is in the process of developing for BAME communities and entrepreneurs.
Hence, on the 27th March BSWN hosted a roundtable meeting at Bristol City Hall with key BAME business leaders and community representatives to get their views on this and explore the answers to key questions such as:
1) What are the communities’ thoughts on Jules Peck’s offer?
2) What do the communities need from a community bank?
3) How would the communities like to be involved?
Among the most common answers were:
· Request of learning more about the concept of a community bank and the possibility of investing in it.
· A general agreement that the bank is severely needed in the St. George area.
· An enthusiastic response at the idea of placing the bank into the BAME Hub.
· The importance of ensuring that the profit of the community bank is re-invested in community projects.
· The bank should reflect the demographic of the area in terms of design, staff, innovation.
· It is essential to understand different cultures and the ways that they see assets to ensure there are no cultural barriers between customers and services.