Research conducted by Jamii, a UK start-up and discovery platform for Black creators and makers, has found that Black business owners nationwide are suffering as a result of the looming recession – with 83% of those surveyed concerned about where the UK economy is going, and a half (50%) believing they will not be able to financially survive.

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The research also revealed that nearly 70% of Black creators and makers feel their business resources have become more costly and over three-quarters (76%) don’t have access to essential resources during these uncertain financial times.

In response to these concerns and with the support of a £20,000 donation from Airbnb, Jamii will launch its “See It Through” initiative this December, aimed at delivering crucial financial assistance to Black British entrepreneurs who are feeling the effects of the current economic downturn.

“See It Through” will see four recipients receive a generous donation of £5,000 each to help boost their business and give them the resources they need to stay afloat. Black business owners can apply by demonstrating how the funds will support them and showcasing a history of steady business development within their respective fields. 

Applications are open at the Jamii website. Jamii has also provided tips on how to write a good application here.

The recipients of the grants will also be onboarded as ‘Experiences’ Hosts by the Airbnb team. Airbnb Experiences are a chance for business owners to offer one-of-a-kind activities designed and led by locals via the platform. This opportunity will support the recipients in driving further brand awareness for their business, and in turn, generate additional income. Experience Hosts on Airbnb earned a total of £110 million globally in 2021, with an average Host earning around £600 in additional income, indicating the contribution it could potentially make to Black British entrepreneurs.

Khalia Ismain, founder of Jamii, said: “Over the last six years, I’ve had the privilege of listening to and understanding the barriers our community faces in achieving sustained success with their businesses. It’s an ongoing struggle – and it’s one felt even more deeply with the current financial crises.

“At Jamii, we see it as our vital role to aid our community where we can. When we support Black-owned businesses, we support our communities today and for the future. The trickle-down effect within employment opportunities and visible representations of those working towards their dreams is one we need to encourage for a truly equitable future for all.”

Amanda Cupples, General Manager for Northern Europe at Airbnb, said: “We’re proud to be supporting Jamii with its “See It Through” initiative to help entrepreneurs in the Black community boost their business during these uncertain times. This follows the success of our Christmas pop-up that we hosted with Jamii last year – where we helped promote Black-owned businesses in London with a particular focus on diversity, economic betterment, empowerment, curation and community. We look forward to continuing to strengthen our partnership as we shine a light on the talented independent Black makers and creators of the UK.”