When I was presented with proposition of working with CREME, at first I was highly sceptical; after all, it can be patronising to hear academics give you theoretical advice on practical problems. However, Professor Monder Ram and Professor Kiran Trehan allayed this fear and many others when the importance of entrepreneur collaboration and networking within the framework was explained.
CREME is a fantastic source of knowledge and understanding amongst ethnic minority businesses. In essence, the foundation and catalyst of successful ethnic minority businesses is working with similar sized and minded organisations. CREME offers a great platform for this as well as the knowledge of key academics in the field.
Director, Cleone Foods Ltd
& member of 12/8 Group
ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is committed to promoting ethnic minority entrepreneurship, recognising the significant contribution these businesses already make to the UK economy.
Research has repeatedly shown that ethnic minority owned businesses require tailored business support and as such, ACCA has relied strongly on CREME’s expertise, active research programme as well as practical engagement with the Centre, to effectively address the sector’s needs. As the Government is reviewing and radically streamlining its business support offering, the work of CREME is only becoming more and more relevant to policy makers, as well as organisations such as ACCA.
I have worked with CREME for many years. It is hard to believe that in the early/mid 1990s the scale of distrust between the ethnic minority business community and banking was very significant and was of real concern to politicians and bankers. It is with no exaggeration that I hold the work of CREME as almost entirely responsible for the positive developments in banks’ relationships with their customers. Others have helped on the way, but no group of researchers has been so focused and persistent in making the case for ethnic minority businesses’ economic and social inclusion on equal parity with other business owners.
Our experience to date with CREME can be only described as positive. CREME despite its excellent academic credentials is steeped in real world business which is quite unique in the academic world.
Their ability to bring in partners such as Barclays and connect them with organisations such as BCABA brings real world finance to Asian SME’s.
CREME’s par excellence research into ethnic minority business endorses their growing reputation in the business support arena.
Business in the Community have benefitted for many years from the research and insight that CREME provides into the Ethnic Minority Business Sector. CREME has a clear understanding of the elements that have impacted, constrained and benefitted the development of the Ethnic Minority business sector over many years. This understanding is witnessed by the interest from a wide range of professional bodies, government departments and business sectors who want to understand for themselves how they may engage and support this growing sector. The ability and success that CREME has had in shaping the views and engagement of these stakeholders is clear and evidenced by the reputation that CREME has established.
The pioneering nature of CREME’s activities through the combination of leading edge research, committed partnerships, and an emphasis on action, has resulted in them developing innovative and impactful approaches to supporting minority entrepreneurs and SMEs alike bringing value and innovation to supply chains. From work we have been involved in with Professor Ram, it is abundantly clear to us that other partner organisations have a signalled a willingness to experiment with different strategies to promote greater engagement with diverse businesses which in turn brings innovation and value to those businesses, stimulating novel, evidence-based interventions in a range of settings.
CREME has provided the Equality & Human Rights Commission with expertise and research on Supplier Diversity and ethnic minority businesses. Working in partnership with CREME on a number of different projects has strengthened the Commission’s credibility and influence in promoting Supplier Diversity. Due to their long history of work on Supplier Diversity, CREME is widely regarded as an expert on this issue and the Commission benefits from our close working with them.
CREME is not merely a research facility. Unlike other institutions, the team at CREME roll up their sleeves to practically apply their knowledge and expertise to enable minority-led businesses to grow and succeed – a virtue most welcomed by entrepreneurs and the communities that they serve. Their fresh business thinking has facilitated FYSHnet’s early growth and development to make it recognised as an innovative business-led network that challenges existing business support models presently in existence – an accolade that we thank CREME for. We hope to continue this close working relationship with CREME for the betterment of FYSHnet and the wider Bangladeshi business community.
The Herbert Felix Institute is based in Sweden. When we started our organization we recognized the deficit of research in ethnic minority entrepreneurship in Sweden. We found that Professor Monder Ram and his colleagues at CREME were a useful resource to transfer experiences from the UK to our country.
Through working together with CREME, the Herbert Felix Institute has been inspired to ask the question “how can we increase and improve the support to ethnic minority entrepreneurs in Sweden?” CREME`s annual Ethnic Minority Business Conference has also inspired us to arrange the same in Sweden.
Like CREME, our organisation wants to make a difference. To make progress the research must be focussed in a more practical way rather than just highly academic. CREME’s work has provided us with a model of this kind of research.
CREME has helped develop a unique and extremely useful Benchmark on supplier diversity they play an instrumental role in the European Supplier Diversity Forum. Both of these initiatives are key components of our work.
CREME’s distinctiveness is in its excellent staff and commitment to the issues surrounding supplier diversity. CREME takes an even-handed approach to these issues and is always engaged in new projects which push the boundaries of supplier diversity.