Sky has pledged £1million to support more Black-owned and led businesses in the UK, as well as plans to grow diversity in Sky’s supply chain going forward.
The initiative is targeted specifically at Black entrepreneurs and follows the £30million set aside in June 2020 to improve Black and minority ethnic representation at all levels within Sky and beyond – including a partnership with football anti-racism organisation Kick It Out.
The funding will support Black business founders by delivering practical solutions to succeed, including a combination of “business advice, mentoring and financial support,” as well as creating the opportunity to access Sky’s own supply chain.
“We believe we have an opportunity to stand against racial injustice, and to tackle the barriers to success faced by Black people in the UK,” said Dana Strong, CEO of Sky. “This new fund will help Black entrepreneurs to succeed and to drive economic prosperity, which is at the heart of equity.”
The program’s delivery partner and recipient of the enterprise initiative will be announced early next year. The group will work with Sky to address the “unique barriers Black entrepreneurs face when starting their business.”
The fund also aims to create “scalable models” for supporting Black founders in British business which will be published and shared.
Sky says its long-term aim is to incorporate these diverse-owned businesses into its own supply chain.
In January 2021, Sky set targets to increase ethnic diversity and representation across its UK workforce.
By 2025, the company aims for 20% of its employees in the UK and Ireland to be from Black, Asian, or ethnically diverse backgrounds, with at least a quarter of these being Black. This target also applies to Sky’s leadership team.