Inclusivity, culture, innovation and creativity in entrepreneurship have been celebrated at a special event in Swansea as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week 2023.
The Enterprise Carnival 2023 was an opportunity for businesses and members of South Wales’ ethnically diverse communities to come together to celebrate entrepreneurial achievement and discuss ways to support individuals and enterprises.
Hosted by The Centre for African Entrepreneurship (CAE), the event was supported by a wide range of businesses and services. Among them was Cywain – a Welsh Government-funded project supporting the development of growth-orientated businesses in Wales’s food and drink sector.
A registered charity, The CAE empowers and supports ethnically diverse communities, specifically migrants, by providing a bespoke and person-centred service that meets their individual needs.
The CAE’s ethos is ‘The Welsh Dream’, a profound belief rooted in the ideology that “every individual, irrespective of their background, is capable of reaching self-actualisation.”
The charity envisions a Wales where entrepreneurship “is accessible to all, devoid of barriers. By reducing impediments and increasing opportunities, we aim to support the creation of a conducive ecosystem, where entrepreneurs from diverse and historically marginalised backgrounds not only survive but thrive.”
One of the themes of the Carnival was ‘Embracing Diversity’ and recognising the contribution of the “eclectic mix of cultures and experiences” that exists in Wales as a sanctuary nation, which “not only adds vibrancy to our society but also injects vitality into the entrepreneurial arena.”
The event’s other theme was Social Consciousness’, and the CAE wants to “cultivate an ecosystem that is inherently attuned to the greater societal good.”
In addition, with the looming threats of climate change, the CAE says, “it is imperative for start-ups and enterprises to embed sustainability and climate-consciousness into their ethos. It’s not just about doing the right thing for the business but doing right by our planet and future generations to come.”
Held at the HQ Urban Kitchen in Swansea, The Enterprise Carnival featured an exhibition, cultural and music performances, a keynote speech and a panel discussion. There was also an entrepreneurship competition designed to nurture creativity and bolster aspiring entrepreneurs, particularly those from historically marginalised communities, with winners receiving business grants and tailored support.
The CAE’s founder and chief executive officer, Franck Banza, said, “Cywain’s presence at the Enterprise Carnival was the secret ingredient for the recipe that made the event successful. Food businesses that exhibited at the event were very happy to discover that such support exists in Wales.”
Alex James, Cywain Project Manager, said, “It was great to be a part of the Enterprise Carnival. It was inspiring to see the enthusiasm and energy that there is in the business community and to see the innovation of Swansea’s entrepreneurs in action.
“We were also proud to showcase the support available through our project, Cywain, to the food and drink producers at the event and to share information about the valuable support we can give to the CAE community of entrepreneurs.”