Huw and Lorraine Bellot founded the Black Business Recommendation platform in 2017 for bosses of Black-owned businesses, offering them a support system to thrive.
Black Business Recommendation (BBR) is a business support network that is dedicated to the development of, and assistance of Black-owned businesses. Today, BBR is a popular platform within the Black British community, lauded for their work to encourage people to purchase products or patronise services from Black-owned businesses in the UK and internationally. However, Black Business Recommendation, the brainchild of husband and wife duo, Huw and Lorraine Bellot, is the realisation of a long-held ambition from Huw nearly 40 years in the making.
Speaking about how the seeds for the platform first came to him. Huw exclusively told Melan Magazine how in 1985 he was “walking through the streets of London amassing 2,375 Black owned businesses for the inaugural UK Community Roots Trust Black Business Directory,” his first job.
Clearly one of the pioneers for the ‘Black-owned movement’ in the UK, Huw noticed all the way back then a lack of visibility and support for Black-owned businesses which never left him. Fast forward to 2017, and the duo finally conceptualised Black Business Recommendation. Initially set up as a Facebook page, the popularity of the BBR has seen the platform grow to incorporate an official website.
“Black Business Recommendation is all about strengthening the buying public to purchase products and services from Black-owned businesses”
Recent world events such as the senseless murder of George Floyd, anti-racist movements and the trend of mainstream businesses pledging to be more inclusive has been watched closely by Huw and Lorraine, however, the Bellot’s have been attempting to battle Black inequality within society and particularly within businesses since 2017.
Black Business Recommendation is all about strengthening the buying public to purchase products and services from Black-owned businesses. Whether you’re a Black or non-Black Briton, BBR is asking everyone to make a commitment to actively help fight racial inequality – by recognising the fantastic Black-owned businesses we have in the UK and supporting them to achieve economic growth, development and legacy.
Speaking about Black Business Recommendation, Huw Bellot said: “Getting angry about racism and prejudice does not produce the desired effect of countering the issue. It’s not enough to simply march and chant. You have to look at the problem from a multitude of angles and commit yourself to being part of the solution.”
Bellot continued: “We need to educate the Black community about the importance of taking a seat at the table where decisions are being made at local and national level, participate in the decision-making committees and forums which have an economic impact on our community development. We also work to ensure a better understanding between Black business owners and the general public. We are all about encouraging Black-owned businesses and organisations to collaborate and not compete, to learn from each other and establish better connections.”
The BBR platform also offers small business owners a collaborative space in which to network, receive business development advice, training and tuition to help start, grow or upskill their business practice, particularly in the current climate when many small businesses are facing uncertainty.
BBR recently took the next steps toward another way of supporting the Black Business community by hosting their inaugural UK Black Business Entrepreneurial Conference earlier this month in partnership with Aspire Consultancy at the Natwest Conference Centre in Bishopsgate, London. Discussion around the Black Entrepreneurs Report 2021 written by Dr Carlton Brown, one of the organisers of the conference, was a highlight.
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There’s no doubt that we need more of these types of supportive platforms for emerging Black businesses to really begin to flourish and thrive. As Dr Brown observed at the conference, we need policymakers, and the powers that be to: “level the playing field and give everyone a fair chance to succeed and to thrive”.
To learn more about Black Business Recommendation, please visit their website.