Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and the Combined Authority have announced the appointment Gloria Hyatt MBE as the new Chair of the Race Equality Business Support Working Group with Ben Osu as Deputy Chair. Gloria Hyatt, MBE, is a serial entrepreneur and Director of Teach Consultancy, since 2005, having previously founded and led an Academy to an outstanding HMI, in the heart of Liverpool’s multi-racial community, Toxteth. A race equality ambassador, she works with entrepreneurs, corporates, and SMEs, delivering transformational, business support, education, training, corporate and executive coaching, to influence systemic and cultural change. As part of the Anthony Walker Foundation, Ben Osu leads on working to tackle racial injustice and promote racial equity to young people in schools across the region as well as working with employers to help them develop diverse, inclusive and equitable workplaces which actively challenges racism and discrimination. The Working Group was formed to better understand the barriers to access of Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic residents to business support services and to significantly improve that access and ensure that all residents are fully supported to achieve their potential in starting, running a growing a business, as well as supporting the whole business landscape to improve business performance through diversity. The group has been set up to support the Race Equality Programme, established last year by the Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, for the Liverpool City Region. Gloria has also been invited to join the LEP Board. Welcoming the appointments of both Gloria and Ben, Asif Hamid MBE, Chair of the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) said: “Establishing this working group is at the heart of what we do as a LEP and is extremely important to me not only as Chair but as a business owner myself. “This Working Group aims understand and ensure we are getting to the heart of the challenges and barriers faced. We can then work together to develop meaningful actions and plans to remove barriers for Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic led businesses at all points in the business lifecycle as they look to start, stabilise and grow. Gloria and Ben’s depth of expertise and knowledge in equality will be a tremendous asset to the group. I am also pleased to welcome Gloria to the main LEP board who will be a great addition.” Asif added: “I would like to send out my heartfelt thanks to not only Gloria and Ben but to the whole Board for giving their time to take forward this important issue.” Lorna Rogers, Assistant Director – Mayoral Programme Delivery for the Combined Authority said: “I am delighted to hear the exciting news that Gloria and Ben have been appointed as Chair and Deputy Chair of the Race Equality Business Support Group. Developing our business infrastructure to enable it to meet the needs of racially diverse communities across the city region is a key element of our overall race equality programme. The expertise that Gloria and Ben will bring to these roles will enable us to support the establishment and growth of minority businesses and the development of minority ethnic business leaders. This will bring huge economic and social benefits to both minority ethnic communities and the wider city region. I am really looking forward to working closely with them in order for us to achieve our commitments to diversify our region’s business landscape.” Gloria Hyatt MBE, Founder and Director of Teach Consultancy and Chair of the Race Equality Business Support Group said: “It is a great honour to be appointed as Chair of the Race Equality Business Support Group at a pivotal time in the City Region’s efforts, to raise our game and place race equality at the heart of business planning, delivery, and strategy. “I hope to inspire a collective endeavour, by all racial communities to openly work and learn together, to understand and contribute to overcoming the barriers Black, Chinese, Asian, and racial minority businesses encounter. “This is a unique opportunity for business support providers and minority racial communities to build bridges, co-create and co-design solutions, embed inclusive business practice, generate significant economic and social value, and achieve an exemplar, fit for a national and international stage. “I am looking forward to working collaboratively, with Ben and Lorna and the other members on the board and also on the LEP Board through Asif, to realise these aspirations and proactively, transform and increase inclusion and diversity in our regions business environment.” Ben Osu, Deputy Chair of the Race Equality Business Support Group said: “Now is the time to truly stand up and take action when it comes to anti-racism and challenging discrimination. I am ready to take on the challenge and work with colleagues to support businesses across the region to become actively anti-racist, challenge a¬¬ll forms of discrimination and support their colleagues when they need it. It is great to see the commitment from the Local Enterprise Partnership and Liverpool City Region Combined Authority turn into action. We are stronger when we unite and celebrate our differences.” A further 10 new Board Members have been recruited to join the Working Group from a diverse background bringing a huge wealth of experience, talent and know how to help support this important agenda. The management of this Working Group has been taken on by Growth Platform, the City Region’s Growth Company, on behalf of the Liverpool City Region LEP and Combined Authority.