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Growing and Nurturing Ethnic Diverse Enterprise in Stockport

(3 min read)

An estimated £25 billion is poured into the economy, from Black owned businesses according to a recent study by the Federation of Small Businesses. Of course, we know that growing and managing your own business isn't an easy pathway and can be a steep mountain to climb.

In Stockport, S-REP have taken a much needed step to support businesses and start-up's owned by ethnically diverse founders, establishing the S-REP Enterprise Network.

Working together with infrastructure support network, Sector 3, S-REP are implementing the tailored social enterprise development programme Proper Good (funded by Big Society Capital and Access - The Foundation for Social Investment.) The S-REP Enterprise Network offers targeted support to help ensure the Stockport social enterprise economy reflects the vibrant diversity of our communities. The network is fundamental to creating a visible, meaningful and safe space for ethnically diverse social entrepreneurs.

Aba Graham (S-REP Founder and Director) explains,

“Indeed, Simone Callaghan (Founder of The Goodness Collective) and I started this initiative because we saw a need. These sessions have been productive so far. Whether it is just an idea or whether you are just starting up or want to refresh or share experience with others… as long as you are from an ethnic diverse background, or you have a skill you want to share you are welcome.”
S-REP Enterprise Network sit together
S-REP Enterprise Network meeting

This impactful and supportive leaders network meets once a month at The Space, Stockport’s welcoming cultural and wellbeing hub on Petersgate Street. Experiences are shared, new connections are made and key themes of learning and development are identified. As the network works together to nurture and strengthen ethnic diverse owned businesses, Proper Good provides support, looking for relevant funds and resources as well as creating connections with relevant business support providers and growing the network wider.

“They are all at different stages of their journey, but are able to share through peer learning and much more. Many come from refugee backgrounds who have been failed by the system. They are creating new pathways.” explains Aba.

For ethnic diverse entrepreneurs just starting out the S-REP Enterprise Network has proved to be a vital resource. Francoise’ success story is just one example. Francoise had been volunteering with S-REP for several months after receiving immigration support as a refugee. Receiving her ‘Indefinite Leave to Remain’ status Francois was keen to establish a business as a hairdresser, drawing on the skill and passion she had kept inside her throughout her journey as a refugee. With support from the S-REP Enterprise Network, Francoise setup as a self-employed sole trader and began providing a local hairdressing service in Stockport. Francoise' journey also inspired her to set up a local support group for refugees and with help from the S-REP Enterprise Network Francoise founded the Refugee Togetherness group, creating a formal constitution and successfully applying for their first pot of funding.

S-REP Enterprise network sit together in the Cultural and Wellbeing Hub
S-REP Enterprise Network sit together in Stockport's Cultural and Wellbeing Hub

Not only do these success stories celebrate resilience, community and empowerment but they also celebrate the growing, diverse, local economy of Stockport.

The S-REP Enterprise Network is constantly evolving so that it can continue to grow and nurture ethnic diverse enterprises in Stockport. The network aims to have at least 3 new ethnic enterprises by the end of 2023. We are looking for sponsors and mentors to support this development. An opportunity that will no doubt form impactful connections between amazing individuals in the local area. If you are Interested in supporting this venture connect with us at

If you have an idea for a business or are an experienced entrepreneur based in Stockport from an ethnically diverse background then please do join our next network meeting.

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