Black Women
Mean Business

I set up ‘Black Women Mean Business’ in 1992 with the aim of supporting, encouraging and celebrating black businesswomen in the UK. It was the first organisation of it’s kind at the time and I am very proud that it is still continuing strong today.

As ever, ‘Black Women Mean Business’ remains a not-for-profit group with a simple agenda; to support, encourage and celebrate black women involved in business as well as black entrepreneurship in general.

We hold fantastic and varied events throughout the year, including conferences, receptions, workshops and discussion forums, to advance our aims. Over the years, i have been greatful for all the inspirational guests and business leaders who have spoken at our events. These include Iyanla Vanzant, renowned US motivational speaker; Trevor Phillips, current head of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission; Brenda Emmanus, Television presenter and leading businesswoman; Kanya King, MBE, founder of the MOBO organisation and awards; Moria Stuart, pioneering newspresenter and reader; Kwame Kwei-Armah actor. The ‘Black Women Mean Business’ events are trully a great opportunity for networking and discussing ideas with and amongst black businesswomen.

Currently, there are around 500 women members of ‘Black Women Mean Business’, many of whom are actively involved in a range of small to medium businesses. Recently however, groups that are looking to increase diversity in their particular business sectors, such as the teaching and the fire service sectors, have also begun to make contact with us. As a result, ‘Black Women Mean Business’ is now expanding to work with organisations who encourage diversity inside the workplace too.

For more information on this initiative, visit

Diversity in the Workplace
The Employability Forum is an organisation working with refugee and migrants to help them into work in the UK. The organisation is currently working on a project to increase diversity within the teaching profession in London.

London Schools
and the Black Child

London Schools and the Black Child (LSBC) is an initiative I started during the 1990s as a way to try and tackle the problem of educational under-attainment amongst London's Black students.

This initiative is still going strong and, to date, has had many pleasing successes. Perhaps the biggest of these being the 2003 launch of the 'Aiming High' programme, the first ever government programme for supporting educational achievement among Afro-Caribbean pupils.

Every year, with the Mayor of London, I co-host a London-wide conference to bring together teachers, children, parents, educators and relevant groups. Together we discuss the obstacles and solutions for increasing educational attainment in London and beyond. As well as this, I also host an anunal, London-wide awards to recognise and celebrate those black students who have manage to excel and impress academically.

Since begining the LSBC initiative, i have witnessed amazing changes in black educational attainment across London and the UK. The achievement gap has been steadily narrowing and black children have made serious progress in schools. In addition, more black teachers are being recruited to industry than ever before, helping London's teaching workforce to look more like the communities they serve.

I am very proud of these achievements, but there is still very much to do. It is still the case that black boys are more likely to be excluded from school than their peers, and studies continue to highlight the disproportionately negative treatment black children are given in the education system, from pre-school assessment right through to the crucial secondary years. These are issues I continue to campaign for through the LSBC initiative.

For more information on this initiative, visit

The Diane Abbott Foundation

The Diane Abbott Foundation undertakes research into the causes, and manifestations of, racial disparity in the United Kingdom. It brings together the work of the London Schools and the Black Child and Black Women Mean Business to provide training, mentorship, counselling and advocacy for black children in the school system and black business women.

The Diane Abbott Foundation is an independent registered charity that was created to formalise, extend and increase the capacity of Diane Abbott MP's work around inequality in education and employment.

Our activities are regulated by the Charity Commission. The decision on how our funds are used is made by a board of independent Trustees. The foundation’s primary aim is to provide advocacy and advice, give grants to organisations that work with or for the benefit of Black British people, and sponsor and undertake research into racial disparity.

For more information on this initiative, visit