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Representing black businesses is key for diaspora’s success

REPRESENTING: Black businesses

THE WOEFUL under representation of black businesses in the UK was the motivation behind Manchester’s first Black Achievers Dinner Dance with a mission to inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs.

Organisers of the event, The African Pot Project Ltd. (T.A.P.), aim to further their objective as a community-led initiative that collectively funds and delivers services for diasporic Africans in local communities.

Otis Thomas, one of T.A.P’s three directors, said: “I came across information stating that 100 years ago only two per cent of all businesses were black-owned and now in this present day the statistic is still the same.

“I felt compelled to do something about it so I wanted to create an event where we highlight and acknowledge current, successful businesses but also encourage more black people to go into business by raising awareness of its importance.”

With financial backing from a consortium of local businesses, Aurora Promotions, the prestigious black-tie affair will be held at stylish city centre venue, The Hilton Hotel.

Guests will be treated to a sumptuous four-course meal along with entertainment, speakers and music until the early hours. “Rapper Ashley Walters [Asher D] and Dean Okai will be our speakers on the night.

“I chose them because Ashley is a great role model who has shown great perseverance and adversity in his journey. He is a living testimony that when life turns sour it’s never too late to turn things around.

“His journey is one of pure inspiration. Dean Okai is very solution-based. His Facebook page, The Solution Room, allows discussions to take place enabling black people to unite and create economic solutions for us to progress as a collective,” added Otis.

The evening will be hosted by Kamilah Francis and Judi Love and T.A.P. will honour black achievers by distributing a free black business directory on the night.

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Ten charities, including Sickle Cell Society, Fathers Against Violence and African Caribbean Care Group will also benefit from donations of £400 each.

Otis, who held a sell-out New Year’s Dance at the Mercure Hotel in Manchester with his own company TBA Events, promises to recreate that successful event to mark the end of 2018 and has plans to make T.A.P.’s Black Achievers Dance an annual event.

“We are filling a void. Other events of this scale targeting the African diaspora tend to be more focused on community work whereas we are focused mainly on the business aspect and – like all things involving T.A.P. – it’s solution-based.”

The dance takes place on October 20. Tickets can be purchased online at Shoobs.com

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