Barclays launches programme to boost diversity in entrepreneurship

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BARCLAYS Eagle Labs is launching its second 12-week virtual accelerator programme to continue to help boost diversity in entrepreneurship.

The accelerator, designed to help early-stage tech businesses founded by one or more Black entrepreneurs, is working in partnership with Foundervine, an award-winning social enterprise specialising in digital start-ups.

The programme includes a series of expert masterclasses focused on a number of core business skills, including product development, sales strategy, operations and leadership. The founders will be mentored by and receive professional coaching from scale-up experts.

This year, 40 businesses are to be selected to participate in the programme. Image: Barclays

All applicants to the Black Founders Accelerator programme will still receive ongoing support from Barclays Eagle Labs, even if they do not secure a space on the programme. Delphine Emenyonu, co-founder of ScribePay, said: “I learnt so much from the programme and it has really accelerated our business – when I first came, it was just an idea, now we’re building the MVP.

“And when the programme ends, it’s really the beginning, you become a Barclays Eagle Labs alumni, gaining access to online resources, events and networking opportunities that have been instrumental in driving our business forward.”

Over 200 businesses applied to take part in last year’s Accelerator, of which 25 successful businesses were selected.

This year, 40 businesses are to be selected to participate in the programme.

Ecosystem Manager at Barclays Eagle Labs and the 2021 programme lead, Liz Boadi said: “The feedback we received from last year’s cohort was amazing and we want to build on that and help even more Black entrepreneurs this year.

“We hope by giving the founders access to the knowledge and expertise we can help accelerate their growth and unlock the potential that we know is waiting.”