Sky announces £1m enterprise initiative to support Black entrepreneurs

Monday 20 December 2021
  • Sky identifies lack of Black founders as key barrier to increased diversity in British business, and says economic prosperity is at the heart of equity for the Black community
  • Enterprise initiative to support the development of Black owned and led business in the UK and will lead to increased diversity in Sky’s supply chain in the future
  • Delivery partner identified and to be announced in Q1 2022

Sky has today announced funding plans targeted specifically at Black entrepreneurs to deliver its commitment to tackle racial injustice. In June 2020, Sky earmarked £30million over the three years to improve Black and minority ethnic representation at all levels within Sky; make a difference in communities impacted by racism; and use the power of its voice and platform to highlight racial injustice.

The new allocation of funds will support Black business founders in the UK by:

  • Identifying the barriers to succeeding faced by Black entrepreneurs in the UK
  • Delivering practical solutions to support Black entrepreneurs to succeed, including a combination of business advice, mentoring and financial support.
  • Creating the opportunity to access Sky’s own supply chain.

Announcing the funding,  Sky’s Group CEO, Dana Strong, said: “We believe we have an opportunity to stand against racial injustice, and to tackle the barriers to success faced by Black people in the UK.  This new fund will help Black entrepreneurs to succeed and to drive economic prosperity, which is at the heart of equity.”

The successful delivery partner and recipient of the enterprise initiative has been identified and will be announced in early 2022. The delivery partner will work with Sky to address the unique barriers Black entrepreneurs face when starting their business. In addition, the fund aims to create scalable models for supporting Black founders in British business which will be published and shared.

The long-term aim is to incorporate these diverse-owned businesses into Sky’s own supply chain. This will build on Sky’s goals as a signatory to the Business in the Community’s Race At Work 2021 charter, which commits Sky to increasing the number of Black and minority-led enterprise owners in its supply chains.

Sky’s £30m has already funded a three-year partnership between Sky and Kick It Out to drive inclusion in football and make it easier for football fans to report discrimination.

In January 2021, Sky set ambitious targets to increase ethnic diversity and representation across its UK workforce. By 2025, Sky is aiming for 20% of its employees in the UK & Ireland to be from Black, Asian, or ethnically diverse backgrounds, with at least a quarter of these being Black. This target also applies to Sky’s leadership team.

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About Sky

Sky is Europe’s leading media and entertainment company and is proud to be part of Comcast Corporation. Across six countries, we connect our 23 million customers to the best entertainment, sports, news, arts and to our own award-winning original content. 

Following the launch of Sky Glass, we now offer customers our strongest ever line-up of products and services. As well as the new streaming TV with Sky inside and everything integrated, customers can enjoy the award-winning Sky Q with all your favourite channels and apps in one place, and with Sky Go you can now access an even better experience on your devices. Sky TV has new channels, new shows and new deals with Peacock, Paramount+ and more. Sky Mobile was voted Best Pay Monthly and Best Value Pay Monthly network by Uswitch, and with Sky Broadband we’re offering our fastest speeds yet.

Building on the success of Sky Originals like Chernobyl, Gangs of London and Brassic, we are doubling our investment in original content by 2024 through Sky Studios. Our new TV and movie studio, Sky Studios Elstree, is expected to create over 2,000 new jobs and generate an additional £3 billion of production investment in the UK over the first five years alone. Sky News provides impartial and trustworthy journalism for free, Sky Arts is the UK’s only dedicated free-to-air arts channel making the arts accessible for everyone and Sky Sports, our leading sports broadcasting service, brings customers some of the biggest and best global sporting events from the Premier League to Formula 1 and everything in-between. Sky Cinema is the home of Sky Original films with brand new films launching every month alongside an unrivalled range of the latest cinema releases and on demand library.

We believe that we can be a force for good in the communities in which we operate. We’re committed to being Europe’s first net zero carbon entertainment company by 2030 and we’re proud to be a Principal Partner and Media Partner of COP26 – the UN Climate Change Conference. We take pride in our approach to diversity and inclusion: we’ve been recognised by The Times and Stonewall for our commitment to diversity, and we’ve set ambitious 2025 targets to continue to increase diversity and representation.  We’re also committed to investing £30million across our markets over the next three years to improve our approach to diversity and inclusion, and to tackle racial injustice. 

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