The Federation of Small Business (FSB), the UK’s largest business membership organization, has launched a new flagship digital resource hub to support and encourage LGBT + entrepreneurs and promote workplace inclusion.
The FSB’s ‘Let’s Grow Business Together’ initiative has the support of the government’s Equality Minister Mike Freier MP.
It is backed by prominent LGBT + business promoter Ian Anderson, executive chairman of public relations firm Cicero / AMO.
The online hub has first-hand insights and experience from LGBT + small business owners, some of whom have decided to start their own businesses to make themselves feel more comfortable and to avoid the risk of discrimination or subconscious bias in the corporate workplace.
A study by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that 40% of LGB + workers and more than half (55%) of trans workers experienced conflict and harassment in the workplace, compared to 29% of heterosexual workers.
Meanwhile, a survey by the Government Equality Office found that about one-fifth of LGBT + employees were not open about their sexual orientation or gender identity with their peers at the same or lower level, 30% with any senior co-worker and 57% with a client or client.
Inclusion expert and FSB member Eli Lothar, who is one of Hub’s featured LGBT + entrepreneurs, revealed that “unconscious bias is something I see in far more cases than you can imagine.”
Craig Beaumont, FSB’s head of foreign affairs, who is listed on the Outstanding List of the UK’s Top 100 LGBT + Executives, said: “It’s a sad fact that many in the LGBT + community still face barriers, discrimination and subconscious discrimination.
“The purpose of FSB’s ‘Let’s Grow Business Together’ digital hub and our new national LGBT + business networking event is to support, celebrate and encourage LGBT + entrepreneurs, as well as provide guidance on how to make small companies more inclusive and inclusive. “
Equality Minister Mike Freer MP said: “Those who are able to feel themselves at work are free to realize their full potential.
“We’ve seen great examples of businesses that encourage inclusive environments where LGBT people can thrive.
“The ‘Let’s Grow Business Together’ digital hub will bring businesses together to share resources and skills, celebrate LGBT entrepreneurship and ensure real positive change for LGBT people in the workplace.”
The FSB has played a leading role in supporting the government’s efforts to engage the LGBT + small business community and has been instrumental in shaping the role of LGBT + business champions.
Iain Anderson, executive chairman of Cicero / AMO, said: “I think it’s remarkable that FSB is building a hub around LGBT + issues so that businesses can practice best practices so that they can make friends. And to be honest, like any business owner, you want to do more business, so if this is a way to allow LGBT + to make rapid progress in small business operations at the same time, I think that’s great. “
The ‘Let’s Grow Business Together’ hub also highlights the FSB’s campaign to eliminate the barriers faced by some LGBT + focused businesses in finding suitable business insurance, as well as communicating downloadable resources for small companies that they are an LGBT + friendly business.