An innovative initiative aimed at providing tailored support, guidance, and mentorship to female entrepreneurs from black and minority ethnic (BME) communities in Leeds has been launched by Unity Enterprise in collaboration with West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA).

Dubbed “Breaking Barriers,” this bespoke program spans six events over three months, delving into crucial topics such as mindset, social media marketing, branding, sales and pitching, as well as web design and multimedia. The inaugural workshop took place at the newly refurbished Leeds Media Centre in Chapeltown, managed by Unity Enterprise, the not-for-profit arm of BME housing association Unity Homes and Enterprise.

Kelly Jennings, Employment Outreach Officer at Unity Homes and Enterprise, said; “Breaking Barriers is designed to provide female entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds with the skills, knowledge and confidence to overcome the challenges they may face in establishing a profitable business.

“The programme is more than a series of workshops, it is about creating a supportive community and a safe space to thrive in.

“Guidance will be given on essential topics ranging from enhancing mindset to producing a standout podcast.”

Adrian Green, Unity Enterprise Manager, said; “Breaking Barriers specifically targets female entrepreneurs from BME communities in Leeds who struggle to navigate the entrepreneurial landscape and need practical and intensive support.

“The project will equip 10 female entrepreneurs with the necessary tools to thrive in their business endeavours and open the door to further assistance available in the city’s wider enterprise network.

“For those who may have had difficulty in transforming their business ideas or newly established enterprises into profitable trading ventures, this scheme could be their bridge to success.”

Cedric Boston, Unity Homes and Enterprise Chief Executive, said; “Our experience at Unity Enterprise has identified that common challenges such as low confidence, mindset limitations, the absence of mentors, a lack of practical business support and insufficient online and offline presence can be major obstacles for aspiring businesswomen from BME backgrounds.

“There is a need for a comprehensive programme that addresses these key challenges, focusing on enhancing entrepreneurial thinking, productivity and the development of female-led businesses.

“We believe that Breaking Barriers ticks all of these boxes and, with the valued support of WYCA, we are proud to be launch this inspiring new venture.”