The Scotland African and Caribbean Diaspora Enterprise Accelerator Business Planning Workshop and Competition

Coordinated and organized by Next Step Initiative, through their Inspiring Transformation Project, supported by Scottish Government Peoples and Communities Fund and with further partnership support with AFFORD UK Diaspora Finance and Investment Initiative, an innovative new programme funded by Comic Relief under the Common Ground Initiative. (Please insert some pictures) The aim of the Scot-African Diaspora Business Planning workshops and competition, organized by NSI in partnership with AFFORD UK, was to stimulate and harness Scot-African and Caribbean Diaspora Investment into job creation and to stimulate the African and Caribbean SMEs sector in Scotland, including social economy.

Andrew Biney

Andrew Biney is born of Ghanaian parents but has been brought up in the UK, he is in his early thirties.  Recently he completed an advanced degree in Masters in Psychological Counselling and is now seeking a position in this specialist field

Elizabeth Amoah

Elizabeth Amoah came along to the Employability training and is also from Africa. She is a graduate and is seeking employment. During the training she became to realise that she has numerous transferrable skills in which to offer an employer here in Scotland.

Friends For All

Over a year, we have been inspired and more confident by the support we have received and continue to receive from Next Step Initiative, through their Social Enterprise Programme. NSI have supported us in developing our social enterprise business concept.

Emeka Onyekwere: “Without Next Step Initiative, and their support, it would have been very difficult to realise our dream. Our confidence, skills, knowledge, exposure and experience have significantly improved as a result of support provided by NSI. They provide a very important service for the growth, sustainability and voice of the African Community in Scotland. We seriously continue to need NSI support and platform to sustain and continue to grow our African Communities in Scotland because of their track records, experience and opportunities they provide”.

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Private Taxi Licence Company

Through the Employability and Social Enterprise Support provided by NSI, they helped in setting my business plan, provided me with free incubation hub to work from and helped to develop my business concept, helped to open network and contacts for my ideas and business. This has now enable me to set up my Private Taxi Licence Company in Glasgow in partnership with Z-Cars and JNB.

Through the support of Inspiring Transformation Social Enterprise support, NSI has abled to support Guy in GlasgowGovan establishing his private car taxi business. This is because I became inspired and more confident as a result of the enabling environment and support and mentorship given to me by NSI Staff: Beltus, Asma and Rosemary. Today I have been running my taxi business for over 5 months, with a weekly turnover of over £300.

“This would not have happen without the support and mentor and inspiring platform of NSI.”

James Femi Martins

James Femi Martins is from Nigeria is a film maker/ script writer/ Journalist. Hobbies: acting, creative writing and football. He was involved in the employability aspect of the Inspiring Transformation project.

Jemima Ojelade

Jemima Ojelade is from Nigeria, West Africa and came to Scotland some time ago. Her background is in teaching although since she came to Scotland she has had to change direction: initially being a support worker was fine but her health at the time intervened and she was unable to continue in this area of employment.

Omolara Lasisi

Omolara  Lasisi from Nigeria, West Africa. She graduated from a University in Nigeria with a BA Agricultural Science and since coming to the UK she has achieved a MBA in Business Management. She has been involved in the Inspiring Transformation Project, and Museum Heritage Project here in Next Step Initiative.

Police Scotland Recruitment

Sudanese Community

Virtual Media Technologies Ltd

In our First full year of operation, VMT had a turnover of £62,000. We have since diversified and setup an online grocery store ( that allows Zimbabweans in the Diaspora, to shop for their friends and family in Zimbabwe and have the goods delivered to the doorstep. The model has proven to be a success and we are hopeful of replicating it into other African markets.

As a result of this support, we have been able to create wealth and jobs and to provide services to the community. Without such support and platform access provided by Next Step Initiative, via the Inspiring Transformation-Scottish Government Communities and People Fund, it would have been difficult or near to impossible to be where we are. It has provided our business with opportunities and a platform that never existed for us. We are confident and hopeful of a bright future. We are very grateful for this support.

African Women Empowerment Scotland (Lila Ndanzia)

Today African Women Empowerment Scotland is real, happening, and functioning thanks to the over 3 years’ support provided by Next Step Initiative, particularly through their Inspiring Transformation Programme, supported by Scottish Government Peoples and Community fund. Through Next Step Initiative, where I started as a volunteer 4 years ago, I was able to gain experience and qualification such as HND in Business and in managing social enterprise. As a result of this experience and support from Next Step Initiative, I was able to set up African Women Empowerment Scotland.

“We would not have realized our dreams, and be able to do what we are doing without the support provided by NSI. We are very thankful for Next Step Initiative for helping us to step up our social enterprise, African Women Empowerment Scotland, for developing our business plan, developing our skills to manage the organization and for securing finance. This has been key in supporting us in developing our member’s skills, our social enterprise while empowering and providing hope for the African women across Glasgow”.

Adebimbe Ademosu

Former NSI Trainee with Glasgow Life Museum, Riverside Museum now employed with AXA PP Healthcare

“It is one of the best and most interesting projects to be involved in. It provides an opportunity to learn and to build transferable skills. It makes integration easy and it is an opportunity to understand other cultures and to talk about yours. It helps to break barriers, build sense of belonging, and be more open to others, without feeling lost while one maintain one’s own identity.”

As a result of the confidence, experience and skills gained after 12 months traineeship with NSI and Riverside Museum, I was able to immediately get a job as an Account Coordinator with support of NSI Employability Programme.

“Very grateful indeed to NSI and all the staff”.

Jean Albert: GHA Board Member and Director in the Wheatley Foundation

The ongoing strategic partnership between Next Step Initiative and Wheatley Group has continued to support the African Housing Forum, the first of its kind in Scotland, which has been running for over 4 years, and is now being recognised by the Chartered Institute of Housing in Scotland as a Best Practice Model for Community Engagement and Empowerment. The Forum provides a very important voice for the African and Ethnic Minority Communities and tenants, one where they can articulate their needs, challenges and aspirations. It also provides an opportunity, on behalf of the African/Caribbean and Ethnic Minority Community, to influence, shape and inform policy and service development within the Wheatley Group and its Registered Social Landlord subsidiaries including: Glasgow Housing Association (GHA), Cube, Loretto Housing and Care, West Lothian Housing Partnership and Dunedin Canmore in Edinburgh.