Black History Month and Beyond: Spotlighting Black Founders

As Black History Month comes to an end it is worth reflecting on its value in building an anti-racist society, balancing the importance of spotlighting incredible Black changemakers, businesses, and activists during this period, with the tokenistic and self-congratulatory nature that corporate communications often take. 

As a charity actively working to build a better world through closing the ‘opportunity gap’ faced by Black founders and others from underrepresented groups, we know all too well that this work does not begin and end in October. It is a commitment that remains essential all year round.

Hatch and Black History Month

A report analysing data on 3,784 entrepreneurs who started companies over a ten year period revealed that just 38 Black entrepreneurs received venture capital funding. Alongside their teams, they received just 0.24% of the total sum invested, and Black female founders just 0.02%.

Our programmes open up access to funding, mentorship, business expertise and more to Black founders across the UK, along with crucial access to a supportive, vibrant community of entrepreneurs with shared experiences. 

We are proud of the work we do year round, and feel that the spotlight that Black History Month brings marks an opportunity to celebrate some of the incredible founders that have been through our programmes.

Black Owned Businesses

For anyone inspired to take action this October to support Black-owned businesses, read on to discover some amazing Hatch graduates. 

A unique, wellness space run by and for Black women and women of colour, centring our lived experiences and making holistic practices accessible.

We understand how wellbeing is impacted by inequality and the importance of being in safe spaces, learning from qualified and trusted sources.

This is a community of women of colour reclaiming healing to help reduce burn out, people pleasing and live a more fulfilling and happy life. We have the knowledge and experience to take you on this wellness journey.

Well portioned, sustainably packaged great tasting quality meals from Peckham that energise you for your day ahead.

Here at Just Fab Kitchen, there is no compromise on quality. My team and I have crafted a premium product and service. All my meals are best enjoyed sitting down and preferably with bubbles or a good artisan tea or coffee. 

I started out in 2019 providing office lunches and then the great pivot in 2020 and rebranding into what you taste today – my concept kitchen allows me the scope to rotate and change my menu, because we all eat together. 

We deliver delicious Caribbean food to those who need it across Hackney. However, We are more than just a meal. We take the time to stop, connect and chat. Many of our recipients are isolated and we know how important a friendly face once a week can be.

We started as a message in a Mutual Aid WhatsApp group. Someone was worried their brother wouldn’t have anything to eat that night as his usual support system was closed off due to Covid

Unknowingly, Carib Eats was born. Nearly a year on from our first delivery, we have provided 3,000 meals, 3,000 cakes, and formed a community of people in Hackney who Cook, Connect and Chat. 

Bean to bar craft chocolate and cocoa pulp juice. A zero plastic, all compostable chocolate brand giving real living wages to the farmers working to produce the beans.

Bantu stands as a testament that chocolate is a luxury product that deserves more thought and consideration from consumers in a world of taking things for granted. 

We believe that the modern supply chain is fundamentally exploitative of African cocoa farmers, and through Bantu we’ve reimagined the entire system, transforming it into one that is built on fair exchange and radical empowerment. 

inu is a restaurant discovery and reviewing platform for Black diners and allies.

Our mission is to help Black diners find high quality restaurants that provide high quality service and food, and to make it easier for all people to support these establishments.

inu’s mission is to empower Black diners and help them avoid negative situations like one I was in. Knowledge is power – the more we share our experiences the better we can identify places that deserve our support and money.

Personalised hair care solutions for people with curly hair. With thousands of products to choose from, optimistic promises from big brands, and conflicting ‘quiz like’ hair-type tests we found ourselves spending days, a lot of our money and much frustration trying to find a solution that works for our hair.

That’s where the idea for CURLiD came from. We’re trying to solve the problem we, and so many others we know have.

We believe in science-based hair care, research, and sharing expert knowledge. We believe in giving people the power to maintain a healthy head of curls, building a community, and encouraging people to embrace their natural curls. 

Take Action

Remember the power you have as a consumer to support Black-owned businesses like those above, whether thats through buying their products or services, connecting them to opportunities, or helping to raise their profile.

If you are interested in doing more to support the underrepresented founders on our programmes find out how you can donate to Hatch or partner with us, helping us to grow our community and build a better world through entrepreneurship.

For some further reading Tobi Oredein has written a brilliantly thought provoking piece for Black Ballad on the ‘complex emotion’ October brings, The Lending Standards Board (LSB) has released a new report, ‘Increasing Access to Finance for Ethnic Minority Led Businesses’, and Raphael Sofoluke, founder of the Black Business Show, discusses how companies can be intentional beyond Black History Month

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