If you are a female busy owner and want to network with fellow business women then you might want to check out the Black Women Mean Business group. Set up by Diane Abbott, although it may be a bit stuffy for us up North, you never know, there may be useful contacts that could be part of this network.
I set up Black Women Mean Business in 1992 with the aim of supporting and celebrating black businesswomen. At the time it was the first of its kind in the UK, although since then a number of other similar organisations have taken root.
Black Women Mean Business is a not-for-profit group with no political affiliation. As such the group does not have a direct political agenda but rather is concerned with supporting black women involved in business and with black entrepreneurship more generally.
I hold events throughout the year for BWMB members which in the past have included conferences, receptions, workshops and discussion forums. Presenters at our seminars have included Iyanla Vanzant, a well-known motivational speaker from the USA; Trevor Phillips, who is currently head of the Commission for Equalities and Human Rights; Brenda Emmanus, a television presenter and businesswoman; Kanya King MBE, who is founder of the MOBO organisation and awards; Moira Stuart, the newscaster; and Kwame Kwei-Armah, the actor and playwright. The BWMB events are a good opportunity for networking and discussing ideas with black businesswomen.
There are well over 500 women members of BWMB many of whom are actively involved in a range of small to medium businesses. We welcome black women who run their own businesses or who are seeking to become business owners in the future. More recently I have been in contact with groups that are looking to increase diversity in various sectors like teaching and the fire service. As a result, BWMB is happy to work with organisations who are encouraging diversity within the workplace.