A&M is launching two mentorship programmes that support black entrepreneurs starting up new businesses.
Chloe Shakesby

London jewellery brand invests in supporting black-owned startups

The owner of a London jewellery brand is investing in the launch of mentorship programmes that support black entrepreneurs starting up new businesses.

Astrid & Miyu (A&M) is launching two separate programmes - the first, to help six young black founders navigate through the startup lifecycle, and the second, to help 10 black students kick start their careers in the fashion industry.

The programmes were inspired by the BLM (Black Lives Matter) movement, which is opposing racism and police brutality against black citizens in the US and across the world.

Founder Connie Nam has pledged her full three-month salary towards raising additional funds to provide grants along with mentorship to black-owned consumer brand businesses.

Leah Remfry-Peploe and Nikki Michelsen, co-founders of organic tampon brand Ohne, have joined forces with four of the A&M team to offer a three-month ‘Accelerator Programme’ covering all aspects of business and tailored to the needs of each chosen entrepreneur.

Six new business owners will be selected for mentoring and awarded a £3k grant each on completion of the programme, which will begin in July.

In August, each mentee will build a solid foundation for gap areas of the business with the help of the mentors with relevant experience. Finally, September will see them refining their planning and reporting to support growth.

As an extension of the ‘Business Accelerator’ programme, Connie and her team are also launching the ‘Graduate Accelerator’ programme, designed to give unprivileged BAME students skills and guidance to kick start their career.

Ten students will be paired with some of Astrid & Miyu’s management and senior team covering areas including marketing.

Liz Beswick, co-founder of a gin brand modelled on fashion and lifestyle brands, is one of Connie’s existing mentees.

She commented: “I jumped at the chance to be involved in this initiative.

“By generously offering up her time, contacts and skills, Connie is not only opening doors for us but also changing our mindset, approach and goals.”

Black-owned businesses can apply for the programme until 30 June.

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