Channel 4, Lloyds Bank launch Black in Business free ads initiative


Channel 4 and Lloyds Bank today launched Black in Business – a new initiative to help boost up to five Black owned businesses with TV advertising airtime worth £100,000.

In addition to receiving £100,000 worth of airtime, each of the five business owners will also have a creative bespoke TV advert made for them and six months of tailored marketing and business support from Channel 4, Lloyds Bank and social enterprise, DOES.

Black in Business

The initiative will offer support to small businesses that are new to TV advertising and comes after research commissioned by Channel 4’s commercial arm, 4Sales, earlier this year revealed that Black entrepreneurs face more obstacles setting up and running their businesses than their white counterparts.

Black in Business, launched in partnership with Lloyds Bank, forms part of Channel 4’s Black to Front legacy – the public service broadcaster’s ongoing commitment to improve Black representation on-screen and more widely in the TV industry.

Channel 4’s Client Strategy & Communications Partner Clare Peters, said: “We are incredibly proud to be joining forces with Lloyds Bank to create ‘Black in Business’, which will offer fantastic opportunities to grow and elevate Black-owned Businesses in the UK.

“Channel 4 has a strong track record in making real change through creative ideas such as Black in Business, our £1 million Diversity in Advertising Award and our Black to Front project.

“This latest initiative has been largely driven by our colleague Maria St Louis, Equity and Inclusion Lead and Co-Chair of The Collective, our employee resource group which exists to create positive change by celebrating cultural diversity in the workplace.”

“Our ‘Black in Business’ ambition is not only to support Black owned businesses but also to level the playing field when it comes to economic inclusion and highlight the contribution these businesses can make towards the wider UK economy, so we’re really excited to see where the initiative takes us.”

Channel 4’s Equity & Inclusion Lead Maria St Louis, said: “Since 2015 Channel 4 has supported my personal mission to remove the barriers to entry for Black owned business within the TV advertising industry, so I’m delighted that our ‘Black in Business’ initiative will not only provide support for Black owned businesses to thrive, but also empower Black founders.”

Earlier this year, independent research company, The Good Side, was commissioned by 4Sales to conduct research which revealed that 56% of Black owned businesses only received funding once they had already grown a successful business, compared to just 35% of white business owners who were given the same requirement.

In addition, 53% of Black owned businesses agreed they had to fight hard to get o­thers to believe in their business compared to only 40­­­% of white owners.

Elyn Corfield, CEO, Business and Commercial Banking, Lloyds Banking Group, said: “We are excited to announce the Black in Business initiative – supporting businesses is a core part of our purpose to help Britain prosper.

“We are now in the third year of our ambitious Black Entrepreneurs Programme, and partnering with Channel 4 forms part of our commitment to drive greater equity for Black business owners.

The Black. British. In Business & Proud Report highlighted the importance of supporting the visibility of Black businesses and we’re delighted to bring this recommendation to life in this collaboration with Channel 4.

“We can’t wait to see the impact this initiative has on the UK Black business community.”

As part of Black in Business, a further five shortlisted businesses will receive the Rising Star grant, worth £3,000, provided by Lloyds and Jamii: an online discovery platform for Black creators and makers, and a tailored one-to-one consultation session to support their business goals.

Further research sponsored by Lloyds Bank – the Black. British. In Business and Proud Report from the Black Business Network, revealed that nearly half (49%) of Black entrepreneurs say they need marketing and PR support, and 20% stated  they need help to find new clients.

The report is unique in considering the full entrepreneurial journey for the UK’s Black entrepreneurs.

In response to the findings, 4Sales has teamed up with Lloyds Bank and DOES, an award-winning social enterprise that works with corporates and institutions to provide support for disadvantaged communities in business to offer a comprehensive package of support to expand and raise the profile of the five wining businesses.

Every applicant who applies for the Black in Business initiative will have the opportunity to opt-in to free tailored business training masterclasses and support delivered by DOES and Jamii.

Akil Benjamin, Managing Director, DOES said: “It’s great to see the Black in Business initiative come to life. Direct, easily accessible support that is centered on supporting Black businesses to grow is very much needed in the Black business ecosystem.

Receiving the £100,000 of advertising is a game-changer for any Black business owner and with every entrant benefitting from the initiative, I would encourage all Black business owners to apply for this amazing opportunity. I can’t wait to see the adverts when they air on Channel 4.

“For DOES, our ambition is to open a business school for disadvantaged communities. We are proud to be able to power this programme, working with Channel 4 and Lloyds Banking Group to support the Black business ecosystem while progressing us one step further towards achieving our vision, demonstrating our work on a national stage.”

Applications for Black in Business open today (Friday 26 May) and close on Monday 26 June 2023, with the judging panel including stakeholders from Channel 4, Lloyds and DOES.