Entrepreneurial transition: the changing profile of ethnic minority business in the West Midlands

A recent report produced by the Minority Ethnic Enterprise Centre of Expertise (MEECOE) provides an invaluable insight into ethnic minority business (EMB) within West Midlands.

As residents and visitors to the West Midlands have all observed, the region is enriched by the prevalence and great variety of ethnic minority businesses. The report Ethnic Minority Businesses in the West Midlands (PDF, 992kb) looks at the traditional view of these enterprises and how they are changing as second and third-generation members of ethnic groups are exhibiting entrepreneurial transition.

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Engaging communities in the new economy – Observatory conference debate

Engaging communities in the new economySupport the community organisations who are working on the ground, was a strong theme in both workshops on ‘engaging communities in the new economy’ at the Observatory’s 2009 Annual Conference.

The workshop heard from voices working with communities in the region who articulated their frustrations in having to fit their work around funders’ requirements, rather than funders coming to them and saying ‘how can we support you to do what you do?’

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Place Survey results 2008

Logo of Department for Communities and Local GovernmentThe results of the Place Survey 2008 have recently been released.

This is a national survey administered by local authorities. It aims to collect consistent national data on the way people feel about their local area and the way in which their local authority is run.

We can use the results of the place survey to compare the West Midlands region as a whole to other English regions, and to compare local authorities within the West Midlands to one another.

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Community and voluntary sector organisations receive grants to help deprived communities

Real help for communities logoTwo voluntary sector organisations located in Telford and Wrekin and Stoke-on-Trent have been awarded part of a £15 million grant to assist communities hardest hit by the recession.

The targeted support fund, part of the government’s action plan for real communities, is providing 558 voluntary and community sector organisations with grants between £10,000 and £40,000. The grants are to help organisations assist those communities that have been severely impacted by the recession through a range of services related to information and guidance, health and wellbeing and employment.

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West Midlands Rural Affairs Forum Conference 2008

Man pinning information to a notice boardDelegates gathered at the Holiday Inn in Bromsgrove on 12th November 2008 for the fifth West Midlands Rural Affairs Forum conference.

The Observatory was asked to present at the event and talk about the State of the Region with particular reference to some of the key challenges likely to be faced by the region’s rural communities.

The main challenges facing the rural West Midlands are not new ones—ageing population and housing affordability in particular—nor are the rural parts of the region immune to the effects of the credit crunch but these challenges can often mask opportunities.

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Regional Skills Assessment 2008: key issues for individuals and communities

Student common room at Aston UniversityWe produce the Regional Skills Assessment each year, providing commentary on the changing labour market to inform the work of a wide range of organisations.

In this article, I’m highlighting key issues for individuals and communities from our skills assessment work in 2008.

There have been significant local and sub-regional variations in skills and labour market trends and issues in recent years. In particular:

Some parts of the region have benefited significantly from employment growth in recent years. There have been notable benefits in:

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Local Area Agreements: The next generation

In June 2008, 150 new Local Area Agreements (LAA) were signed off by central government. A Local Area Agreement is a three year agreement, based on local Sustainable Community Strategies, that sets out the priorities for a local area.

The 14 strategic authorities in the West Midlands each have a Local Area Agreement.

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