Anti-racism Resources for the Social Enterprise Sector

Mai Brightling

External Affairs Assistant

15th July 2021



Funders, partners, customers, and social entrepreneurs all have a part to play in creating a more equitable and inclusive social enterprise sector and society. In the UK, we have social entrepreneurs focused on the historically excluded; funders uplifting and supporting equity-driven ventures; and social enterprises embedding anti-oppression practice too.

At UnLtd, we want to embed equity and inclusion and be an active anti-oppression and inclusive organisation. Our key starting areas of improvement are how we deliver and offer support to social entrepreneurs, and our workplace environment and internal structure.

We commit to share our journey, learnings, and the resources we have used, both for transparency and to offer guidance to organisations wanting to join us in this critical work.

For social entrepreneurs

The anti-racist path for a social enterprise should be strategic and tailored to foster sustainable, long-term change. Racism overlaps with all forms of social oppression and can't be viewed as one singular problem area. As such, the training and resources below approach inclusion through an intersectional lens and highlight anti-racist practice:

Sour Lemons

Social enterprise Sour Lemons is committed to dismantling systemic racism in the arts and culture sector by mentoring and training underrepresented voices to reach positions where they can make change. They are currently supporting the Young Vic and Royal Court theatres on their anti-racism journey too.

The Cares Family

The Cares Family has revisited its core mission – to help people find connection and community in a disconnected age – through an actively anti-racist lens, seeing their responsibility to embed anti-oppression internally and within their communities. Anti-racism training is now mandatory for all staff and volunteers, and their newly created Inclusion Lead role steers their long-term anti-racism strategy too. Read more here.

Inclusive recruitment

Pioneers Post shares inclusive recruitment advice from social enterprise sector leaders at Firstport, the School for Social Entrepreneurs, Evenbreak and Big Society Capital.

The social enterprises below offer expert advice to help organisations develop anti-racist practice and policies. We also suggest preparing for training with the self-learning resources too.

Actions to take

For funders and organisations supporting social entrepreneurs

Our sector often relies on quantitative data to make decisions, overlooking the richness of qualitative data and the issues of data bias and what numbers can't represent.

While working towards inclusive 'measuring' and presenting of impact, we can also support research balancing both stories and statistics. These papers offer funders clear findings and guidance to shape better practice, by clearly highlighting the disparities in how racialised groups access funding and support.

Research Papers

Resource hubs

For social investors, The Diversity Forum Toolkit offers detailed advice on how to promote diversity and inclusion internally. Good Finance's Diversity and Inclusion resource hub includes their "Addressing Imbalance" project and partners, their Diversity and Inclusion plan, and other tools and resources.

Consultancy Support

  • Babbasa's workplace inclusion services, include cultural competence training and advisory support.
  • Results CIC offers a Diversity and Inclusion training programme, as well as tailored coaching for individuals.
  • Survivor Alliance's consultancy and training supports workplaces to be inclusive of survivors of modern-day slavery and human trafficking.
  • Inclusive Recruitinghelps organisations to attract, recruit and retain more diverse candidates, while their sibling Inclusive Boards supports developing more diverse boards and senior teams.
  • Our Version Media supports implementing inclusive marketing communications and increasing internal representation.
  • Fearless Futures ' training programmes support senior leaders to develop organisational change, while helping employees improve inclusion and equity literacy.
  • The Black Curriculum training helps organisations foster an inclusive environment.
  • The Diversity Trust provides equality, diversity, inclusion and accessibility training and consultancy.
  • Become a member of the Black United Representation Network to access Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) consultancy, and connect with like-minded allies.

For individuals supporting social entrepreneurs

The power of people outside of the sector is crucial to social entrepreneurs, especially for organisations led by or supporting minoritised ethnic communities. Customers, donors, or followers can all make a difference by lending support.

  • Donate to Sour Lemons and support their mission to dismantle systemic racism in the arts and culture sector.
  • Donate to the Resourcing Racial Justice fund to support racial justice work. The fund is founded by a coalition of people of colour (PoC) innovators, change makers, activists, artists and social leaders dedicated to social change.
  • Become a customer of social enterprises led by racialised people. We recommend products from Black-owned social enterprises here, in recognition ofBlack Pound Day, an initiative to purchase products or services from Black-owned businesses on the first Saturday of every month.
  • We also celebrate the magic and work of Black social entrepreneurs in our Black History Month blog post. When reading about the work, we also encourage using the resources to learn more about the Black experience and dismantling anti-Blackness in the UK.
  • Donate to or become a member of the Black United Representation Network - a social enterprise dedicated to dismantling the systemic barriers to success faced by Black-led Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).
  • Follow Spark & Co on social media and share their resource hub, which specifically outlinesing support for communities disproportionately negatively impacted by the pandemic.

Whether people are social entrepreneurs or wanting to support making the UK a better place to be one, we hope this post has been helpful guidance for an anti-racism journey.

We applaud and thank all joining us in our ambition to help create a more equitable and inclusive social enterprise sector and wider UK.

Read further about our Equity, Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging Commitments.

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