MP Diane Abbott welcomes Nick Clegg’s proposals over problems ethnic minority entrepreneurs have with banks

PUBLISHED: 12:02 24 November 2011 | UPDATED: 12:33 24 November 2011

Diane Abbott, Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP

Diane Abbott, Hackney North and Stoke Newington MP

2010 Getty Images

The Shadow Health Minister and MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington welcomes “overdue” enquiry

MP Diane Abbott has welcomed Nick Clegg’s proposal to launch an “overdue” inquiry into the problems ethnic minority entrepreneurs have with the banks.

Ms Abbott has personal experience of the problems faced, having run a network for black female entrepreneurs since the 1990s called “Black Women Mean Business”.

“The biggest problem that people came to me with was difficulty accessing finance,” she said.

“Sometimes the issue was getting the finance to set up in business at all, but it was also problematic obtaining finance in order to expand.

“In the current climate the problem is worse than ever.”

She added that at a national level financial institutions often mean well, but problems occur at a branch level.

“All too often local managers do not know the community or the niche sectors that ethnic minority entrepreneurs want to enter like black hairdressers,” she said.

‘I have tried in the past to bring ethnic minority entrepreneurs together with banks and “business angels” to try and overcome problems, but this initiative is overdue.

“We need to everything we can to encourage black business.”

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