Other Voices


How are we supporting people from a variety of backgrounds and different walks of life to innovate and succeed in business and ultimately build the our regional economy?

Accelerators are popping up like crazy with the aim of encouraging innovation within a particular industry or promoting local economic growth.

Increasingly, accelerators are being set up with the goal of tackling the issue that, while being the fastest growing in Europe, the UK start up scene is far from diverse:

  • Only a quarter of start ups in the UK have a female in their founding team and
  • Just 13% of investment in 2018 went to female founded businesses
  • It’s estimated that just 5% of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are minority ethnic group led

The underrepresentation of these (and other) groups is unacceptable not only from a moral perspective but also economically. Studies show that diverse founding teams are more innovative and bring better financial results.

It might surprise you to learn that Leeds City Region is performing poorly in terms of innovation when compared to a nationally and regional average. We are not reaching a diverse set of entrepreneurs nor are we taking advantage of the innovation support and funding that is available.

It’s time that we took a good long hard look at where the barriers are and how we overcome them.

Let’s hear more from our entrepreneurs!

There is support out there. Ideas Mean Business is a collaboration between Innovate UK and The Prince’s Trust to engage and inspire young innovators from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Got an opinion you’d like to express?

This is an area where you can talk, tell your story, share insights, float ideas and suggestions on all matters connected with diversity, inclusion and race.

Everyone’s experiences are different, tell us how it is for you.


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