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Wray & Nephew supports Black businesses

Jamaican rum brand Wray & Nephew has launched the third edition of its Wray Forward programme, which provides support and funding for Black-owned businesses in the UK.

The initiative gives Black business owners tools to pitch their projects and has supported more than 3,800 entrepreneurs so far

The programme – launched in collaboration with Foundervine, an inclusive London-based business training and coaching platform – provides Black entrepreneurs with access to mentorship opportunities, educational workshops and networking events.

It was first launched in December 2021 after the rum brand discovered that 68% of Black entrepreneurs surveyed said there weren’t enough tools and resources available to them, while 76% said they would have found success for their business goals much quicker if these tools were accessible.

The initiative’s third year will celebrate community by creating supportive environments that enable Black founders to connect and collaborate.

For 2024, the main objective is to increase access to funding for Black founders, after 20% of founders surveyed expressed that they have struggled to raise funds.

Izzy Obeng, co-founder of Foundervine, said: “Black founders face numerous limitations, including restricted access to capital, networks and opportunities.

“In 2024, we’re aiming to help more Black founders and entrepreneurs by breaking down these barriers and providing tailored support and resources.

“We’re delighted to be working with Wray & Nephew to equip Black founders with the tools and knowledge needed to navigate the entrepreneurial landscape successfully.”

So far, the initiative has supported more than 3,800 Black entrepreneurs, provided 48 hours of free learning and represented more than 23 industries.

Participants from previous years can return to the programme each year, no matter the development stage of their business.

Interested parties can register their interest for the programme on Foundervine’s website.

The 2024 Wray Forward programme began on 3 April, but will continue with workshop-led sessions until November. The programme also offers roundtable discussions, founder growth circles, networking events and pitch nights.

Wray & Nephew is owned by Campari Group, which recently celebrated its third year of double-digit growth.

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