Channel 4 and Lloyds Bank have awarded five black-led businesses a total of half a million pounds in TV advertising airtime, as well as tailored marketing and business support as part of the Black In Business initiative.
In addition to securing £100,000 of airtime, each brand will also have an ad made for them, which will air in early 2024.
The winning businesses are Dalgety Herbal Teas; sustainable trainer brand LØCI; clean eating company The Gym Kitchen; clinically-backed herbal shots business The Turmeric Co; and TreasureTress, a subscription box business for naturally textured hair types.
There were more than 1,000 entries, with the winners selected by a jury including Channel 4’s equity and inclusion lead, Maria St Louis, Paul Gordon, managing director, relationship management, business and commercial at Lloyds Bank and founder of agency The Barber Shop, Dino Myers-Lamptey. Nearly a quarter of the businesses that entered generate more than £100,000 in turnover a year, while 3% make over £1m.
Alongside guidance from Channel 4 and Lloyds Bank, each of the five winning companies will be given support from social enterprise DOES, which works with organisations to provide backing for disadvantaged communities in business.
Channel 4 launched Black In Business in partnership with Lloyds Bank after research by its commercial arm 4Sales revealed black business owners face more challenges when establishing and running businesses than their white peers. It forms part of Channel 4’s Black to Front initiative that aims to improve black representation both on-screen and within the wider industry.
Clare Peters, client strategy and communications partner at Channel 4, says: “When our research highlighted the obstacles faced by black-owned businesses, we wanted to make a tangible difference by offering practical support to directly target some of the issues.
“It is our sincere hope that this scheme kickstarts wider awareness of the challenges faced and prompts action across the industry to deliver more equal opportunities for all entrepreneurs and business owners regardless of their background and ethnicity.”
Indeed, additional research from Black. British. In Business and Proud reveals 49% of black entrepreneurs say they would benefit from marketing and PR guidance, while 20% say they need help finding new clients.
It is our sincere hope that this scheme kickstarts wider awareness of the challenges faced.
Clare Peters, Channel 4
Elyn Corfield, CEO of business and commercial banking at Lloyds Banking Group, says: “This initiative builds on our commitment to support black-owned businesses and marks significant progress towards our long-term goal of creating equity for black-owned businesses.”
A further five businesses will also receive the Rising Stars Grant and support provided by Jamii, a platform for black creators and makers, worth a total of £15,000, as well as a personalised consultation session.
The recipients of this prize are black greeting cards and stationery brand, KitsCH Noir; multicultural research and creative consultancy Word on the Curb; Nylah’s Naturals, which makes natural afro and curly hair products; By Aaron Wallace, a brand that makes natural and vegan hair and skincare products for black men; and second-hand fashion specialist, Known Source.
All businesses that entered the Black In Business initiative will also have access to free business training masterclasses delivered by DOES and Jamii.