‘ICAEW must aid ethnic business’

Link: Read the full interview with Mei Sim Lai

Mei Sim Lai, a partner at top 50 firm Pridie Brewster and a volunteer on the forum, believes the bodies should help their members negotiate finance deals.

A recent report from the British Bankers Association revealed that some ethnic minorities face more obstacles than others when trying to find start-up finance.

Ethnic minorities account for 9% of new businesses while representing only 7% of the population. However, while 50% of Chinese businesses managed to get their funding, only 31% of Afro-Caribbean entrepreneurs managed to do so.

However, the BBA acknowledges that a communications gap does appear to exist between banks and certain ethnic minority groups ‘which banks must work to address’.

Loan financing and its acceptance by some communities has also risen as an issue.

This has resulted in the Forum calling for an investigation into the provision of non-interest based finance for Muslims. This is an area where some of the high street lenders have already begun work.

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